Home > Lifestyle > EnviroHealth > News 28 March 2013 Insects plentiful in hot parts of cities Higher temperatures in cities can be a key driver of insect pest outbreaks on trees in urban areas, according to research. 0 iStock Related When trees die off human health will suffer Insect bites What is global warming? Start A Health24 blog » Follow Health24 on Facebook » Test Are you envirohealth savvy? » Ask EnviroHealth Expert » Shark feeding frenzy caught on camera The recycling headache list Higher temperatures in cities can be a key driver of insect pest outbreaks on trees in urban areas, according to research published in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Emily Meineke from North Carolina State University and colleagues from other institutions.The researchers found that a scale insect that exclusively feeds on oak trees was 13 times more abundant on willow oaks in the hottest parts of the city of Raleigh, North Carolina than in cooler areas of the same city, even when other factors, like natural enemies that would kill the insects, were similar in both areas. In a second experiment, they found scale insects collected from trees in hot areas had higher survival rates in hot greenhouses than in cool ones. However, insects originally from cooler urban areas remained low in number in both hot and cool greenhouses. Urban warming leads to higher pest abundanceThe researchers found no differences in the rates of reproduction of insects in any of these groups. Thus, they suggest that the differences in abundance may be a result of differences in survival rather than a higher reproductive capacity.Urbanisation of an area changes the species that dwell in it. Previous studies have analysed these effects in terms of loss of resources or changes to habitat, but this is the first research to focus on the effects of "heat islands" created in cities. Meineke explains that, "Urban warming can lead to higher insect pest abundance, a result of pest acclimation or adaptation to higher temperatures."The study concludes that since current urban warming is similar in magnitude to the higher temperatures predicted by global warming in the next fifty years, their results may indicate potential changes in pest abundance as natural forests also grow warmer. EurekAlert More in Lifestyle Mystery of where Earth's water came from deepens More: EnviroHealthNews SPONSORED: So many prizes! Click through and see our fantastic competitions. advertisement Get a quote Momentum - save up to 35% on healthcare advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Add your comment Thank you, your comment has been submitted. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Mental health Clinic mum over 'gay conversion' therapy Medical Why you should take Vitamin C this festive season Medical 5 things you didn't know about osteoporosis Medical Doctors too strict about sex after heart attack Sex From she to he – a young man's journey to happiness Medical Avoid getting sick while going on holiday From our sponsors Uncontrolled periodontal disease and diabetes – a collective health risk? Exam stress – a challenge for the whole family Eduloan offers affordable education finance Live healthier Medical bills » GP and money Cut medical bills Medical savings account Medical scheme: what is a self-payment gap? Have you exhausted your day-to-day benefits and moved into your self-payment gap? Here's what it means. Allergy alert » Allergy myths Cold or allergy? Children and allergies Allergy facts vs. fiction Some of the greatest allergy myths and misconceptions can actually be damaging to your health.