“It gives me the creeps day and night”…who is this guy that’s been going door to door?

Insect attacks have become more frequent in South Korea recently. Recently, large flying insects that can reach 5 centimeters in size when they spread their wings appeared in swarms on Seoul’s nighttime streets, and exotic termites have been found gnawing away at wooden buildings, causing them to collapse. Other countries are also facing insect attacks. Insects that are damaging or repulsive to agriculture, global biodiversity, and other sectors are on the rise.

Scientists attribute the rise of certain insects to climate change. The increase or decrease of certain insect populations depends on many factors, including weather events, natural enemies, and interactions with their prey. The recent dramatic increase in the number of lacewings and mosquitoes, nicknamed stink bugs, is also related to climate change, according to the analysis.

In April, a team of researchers led by Leonard Schneider, a professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences at the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, published a study in the international journal Current Opinion in Insect Science that analyzed how “climate change has accelerated the spread of pests around the world”. While the team notes that “pest responses to climate change may vary considerably across biomes and habitats,” they conclude that “in general, we are likely to face an increase in pest attacks with climate change.”

The team’s analysis is based on the idea that higher temperatures can significantly affect insect development. Rising average temperatures accelerate insect fecundity, survival, and population size. While the extent of this effect may vary depending on the ecology and diet of the species, warmer weather means that insects are more likely to reproduce during the year.

As cold weather disappears, insects with lower cold tolerance are more likely to survive. For example, the spotted winged fruit fly, which occurs mostly in North America, is inactive in cold weather below minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Spotted wing fruit flies are becoming more common in North America as temperatures rise. “Increased winter and spring lows trigger pest outbreaks,” the team said, “and this may be especially true in temperate regions.”

In fact, the massive outbreaks of giant mayflies in Korea are also analyzed to be affected by climate change. Daphnia larvae live in water. As water temperatures rise due to warming, their growth rate accelerates. Extreme weather changes caused by climate change are also analyzed to have an impact. Recently, Korea has experienced a drought followed by heavy rainfall. Entomologists have analyzed that climate change has led to extreme droughts and rainfall, which has led to an increase in the number of termites per day.

Warmer temperatures played a role in the termite outbreak. “The alien termites found in Gangnam cannot survive in cold weather and cannot live outside the house,” said Dr. Lee Heung-sik, who oversees pest research at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Quarantine Headquarters. “The individuals found have wings, which are used for mating,” said Park Hyun-chul, a professor of bioenvironmental chemistry at Pusan National University. “If the temperature is too low, termites will not mate.”

Warmer temperatures also affect how active insects are. The general consensus among entomologists is that insects are ectotherms, meaning they need to maintain their own temperature and water balance, and that warmer temperatures make them more active and cooler temperatures make them slower. One theory is that insects’ appetites are more voracious than in the past.

These more active insects, which reproduce more often, are having a major impact on humanity. Temperature-sensitive insects are responding quickly to climate change. Increased insect populations are disrupting agriculture. Swarms of desert locusts, especially in Africa, fly in swarms so black they block out the sun and devour corn and other foodstuffs. Their numbers are so large that pesticides and aerial control are ineffective. The insects are creating a food security emergency.

In April 2022, a team of researchers from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, published an analysis showing that an average global temperature increase of one degree Celsius could increase insect damage to wheat, rice, and corn crops by up to 25 percent. This is not only happening in Africa, but also in North America and Australia. In the U.S., insect damage to crops costs the economy about $1 billion ($1.32 trillion) annually.

Insects also cause disease damage. They are vectors that spread infectious diseases to humans. Mosquitoes are a prime example. According to the World Mosquito Program, an international organization that works to eradicate mosquitoes, around 700 million people around the world contract mosquito-borne diseases every year. More than one million of them lose their lives. Climate change is expected to lengthen the mosquito season and expand their range of activity. In 2021, Germany experienced severe flooding, which some analysts believe increased mosquito populations by about 10 times more than usual. The number of mosquito-borne diseases and deaths will naturally increase in the future.

The number of insects that cause harm, such as odor or repulsion, is also increasing. Javier Gutierrez Ilan, a professor of entomology at Washington State University in the United States, and colleagues published an analysis in the international스포츠토토 journal Pest Management Science last August showing that the number of lacewings in the United States could increase by about 70 percent in the coming years due to climate change. The researchers analyzed 543 insect colonies around the world over a three-year period and used the data to predict the increase of the species. Norinjae emit an unpleasant odor when threatened or crushed. The giant day louse, which has appeared in Korea, is a similarly repulsive insect.

The spread of insects also disrupts global biodiversity. An increase in the number of insects can lead to an increase in the number of predators or a breakdown in the food chain below them. “It can be affected by many factors, such as interactions with natural enemies and prey,” said Jang Yi-kwon, professor of ecological sciences at Ewha Womans University. “Climate change can affect crop-pest interactions through a variety of pathways,” says Schneider, “and it is already affecting insect species in many ways.”

Scientists emphasize the need to study these interactions. Interactions need to be studied


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