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 » Blood Lions: Bred for the Bullet movie trailer The amazing mountains on Pluto 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 NEXT ON HEALTH24X Knysna on fire. A community rebuilds 16 minutes ago Partner content More: EnviroHealthNews advertisement Read Health24’s Comments Policy Comment on this story 0 comments Comments have been closed for this article. Logout Comment 0 characters remaining Share on Facebook Loading comments... Other news Diet and nutrition Sugar tax: Job losses far lower than projected by industry Lifestyle 5 possible causes of pigmentation problems Diet and nutrition Book extract: ‘Paranoid’ Noakes knew about forces to silence him Medical SURVEY: Where do most of SA's allergy sufferers live? Medical Hopes that cutting edge tech could see jump in bone marrow donors Medical Can hair dyes and relaxers raise breast cancer risk? From our sponsors WIN a R2000 Skin Renewal voucher! Constipation in women SA's old diesel vehicles continue to fuel allergies Complete our allergy survey and stand a chance to win R 1000! Live healthier Wasting water? » South Africa is facing a water crisis Water saving tips Water quality report shocks SEE: How much water do you use per day? With level 4 water restrictions in Cape Town, residents are urged to use a maximum of 100 litres per person per day. Here’s how quickly it adds up. Life saving tip! » SEE: 10 things to keep in your first aid kit 10 first aid myths Here's why you need a first aid kit in the car Emergency services are often spread thin, especially when storms and major disasters strike. When travelling on the road, having a well-stocked first aid kit could be a lifesaver.