NBC News recently reported that post 9/11 invasive species are threatening the U.S. food supply. There are, however, several invasive species that pose a health or property risk to people living in the United States. Identifying these invasive pests quickly and preventing conditions in which they may thrive can greatly reduce their impact.
Invasive pests spread quickly because they do not have natural predators in their new environments. Some of these species have the potential to spread throughout the United States.
The Formosan termite, for example, is an aggressive and highly destructive termite species that originated in China. This termite entered the United States during World War II on military cargo ships. Formosan termites form larger colonies and consume more wood at a faster rate than native termite species.
The red imported fire ant (RIFA), is a native to Brazil that entered the United States in 1993. It can now be found throughout the southern and western United States, including New Mexico. RIFAs will attack if their nest is disturbed or threatened, and often inflict multiple painful stings. People with allergies to insect stings can have a severe reaction to RIFA bites.
Finally, brown marmorated stink bugs are particularly problematic in the eastern United States this year. This insect does not pose a serious threat to property or health, but they are a nuisance because of their smell and large numbers. These insects emit a strong odor to defend against predators.
Tags: Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Formosan Termite, Pest Control, Red Imported Fire Ant, Stink bug