Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Invasive Insects Cost the World How Much?!

An interesting article was recently published in Nature Communications looking at how much invasive insects cost worldwide.  Invasive insects are one of the more important categories of invasives, impacting shipping/trade, farming, ecology, forestry, health care, and more.

formosan subterranean termite (Coptotermes formosanus) damage.  Image credit: formosanus Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org

The article evaluated 737 existing studies, books, and reports from 1911 through December 2015 on the  economic cost of invasive insects cost. The articles/book/reports were first evaluated based on reproducibility of results and of the 737 initial sources, only 158 contained usable and relevant economic estimates.  Evaluation of those studies show that invasive insects, at a minimum, US$70 billion per year for goods and services and US$6.9 billion per year for human health.

The article was submitted with supplementary material which included a spreadsheet of the studies and numbers gleaned from each source.  For more information on the study and specific numbers for certain insects, check out the article.

Source Article: Massive yet grossly underestimated global costs of invasive insects
Science Direct Article: Invasive insects: Underestimated cost to the world economy