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A rise in the Earth’s temperature could lead to an increase in the
number of insects worldwide, with potentially dire consequences
for humans, a new study suggests.
New research shows that insect species living in warmer areas are
more likely to undergo rapid population growth because they have
higher metabolic rates and reproduce more frequently.
The finding has scientists concerned that global warming could give
rise to more fast-growing insect populations and that we could see
a spike in the number of six-legged critters.
The consequences could be more serious than just a few extra bug
bites each summer.
“If they’re crop species, we could count on needing to use more
pesticides and it could be very costly,” said Melanie Frazier, a doc-
toral student at the University of Washington and lead author of the
Insect-borne diseases are also a worry.
Malaria, Lyme Disease and a host of others rely on insect vectors
to spread among humans, and a swell in their populations could
mean more infections.
We won’t have to wait long to find out. Insects adapt quickly,
so we will likely see changes within our lifetime, Frazier says.