Pest Outbreak Makes Way For Diseases in to U.S

Following the 9/11 attack, the influx of foreign insects increased by many folds in the U.S. This is because most of the scientists working on preventing the foreign insects from making way in to the food of the U.S citizens, were transferred in to the new wing Homeland Security Department. However, a massive pest invasion took place and scientists were unable to counter it as the major focus was on the Homeland Security.

“Whether they know it or not, every person in the country is affected by this, whether by the quality or cost of their food, the pesticide residue on food or not being able to enjoy the outdoors because beetles are killing off the trees,” said Mark Hoddle, an entomologist specializing in invasive species at the University of California, Riverside.

The results of the pest invasion are evident through the high cost of food items and substandard output of the farms. Also, the increasing amount of pesticides that are required to counter the pests have also caused a considerable damage to the environment.

Homeland Security representatives have now acknowledged their mistake and have pledged to work on eradicating the damage thats pests have made to the crops and the food items that are available for the citizens of America.

Here’s a look at the damages that have taken place:

  • “No fewer than 19 Mediterranean fruit fly infestations took hold in California, and the European grapevine moth triggered spraying and quarantines across wine country.
  • The Asian citrus psyllid, which can carry a disease that has decimated Florida orange groves, crossed the border from Mexico, threatening California’s $1.8 billion citrus industry.
  • New Zealand’s light brown apple moth also emerged in California, prompting the government in 2008 to bombard the Monterey Bay area with 1,600 pounds of pesticides. The spraying drew complaints that it caused respiratory problems and killed birds. Officials spent $110 million to eradicate the moth, but it didn’t work.
  • The sweet orange scab, a fungal disease that infects citrus, appeared in Florida, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, which all imposed quarantines.
  • Chili thrips, rice cutworms and the plant disease gladiolus rust also got into Florida, which saw a 27 percent increase in new pests and pathogens between 2003 and 2007.
  • The erythrina gall wasp decimated Hawaii’s wiliwili trees, which bear seeds used to make leis.
  • Forests from Minnesota to the Northeast were also affected by beetles such as the emerald ash borer, many of which arrived in Chinese shipping pallets because regulations weren’t enforced.”
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