Home > Lifestyle > Environmental Health > 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 Need motivation? Joel Stransky stood on the podium at the Cape Epic, a year after being in ICU 2018-04-12 10:30 More: Environmental HealthNews 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 Lifestyle 5 reasons you’re gaining weight that have nothing to do with food Diet and nutrition Creatine vs BCAAs – the lowdown on why they work, and which one we think is best Medical Can this be the cause of your restless legs? News ‘If you are disabled you are cursed and bewitched’ Medical 1 in 4 SA workers suffers from depression Lifestyle Reasons why your scalp is itchy – and how to fix it From our sponsors WIN a R2 000 beauty voucher! Understanding diabetes self-management Fed up with the Phlemings? Let’s chat diabetes and erectile dysfunction Live healthier FYI » When the flu turns deadly Why the flu makes you feel so miserable Could a deadly flu strain hit SA this winter? Following an intense flu season in the US and UK, should we be worried about our own upcoming flu season? Alcohol and acne » Dagga vs alcohol: Which is worse? SEE: Why you are drinking more alcohol than you realise Does alcohol cause acne? Some foods can be a trigger for acne, but what about alcohol? Dermatologist Dr Nerissa Moodley weighs in.