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 Medical When it is OK to give children medical pot Fitness Realistic targets may boost exercise rates Medical Gates sees 'miracle' tools for Aids by 2030 Medical Why the Disney linked measles outbreak is spreading Medical WHO needs to repair reputation after bungling Ebola Lifestyle Human Ken doll Justin Jedlica wants to be 100% plastic Live healthier Healthy weight » Underweight? Eating speed linked to BMI Weight and BMI affect fertility Should we really consider BMI? The Body Mass Index is widely used to assess if an individual is overweight or not. DietDoc investigates how accurate this tool really is. Digital health news » Screensaver or eyesaver? How to survive load shedding Computer may predict infectious influenza New Ransomware virus causes havoc An incredibly destructive computer virus is on the rise, charging user's thousands of rand to unlock their own devices once infected with terrible consequences if they don't.