Ada Szczepaniec, an agricultural entomologist at Texas A&M University, investigated the outbreak. Her study found that it was not just the elms, but also crops such as corn and soybeans that had been sprayed by the pesticide also showed spider mite outbreaks. When investigating soybeans, she found that exposure to the neonicotinoid pesticides altered their genes involved with the cell wall and defense against pests, and changed them in such a way that the plant became more vulnerable to infestation. Other researchers noticed correlation as well, and recorded spider mite outbreaks on corn and other crops.I hate slugs! The last thing we need is more of those in the garden! Of course, I also am against the use of pesticides in general. We're basically killing ourselves...
As well as spider mite outbreaks, the pesticide has had other quantitative effects as well, like an outbreak of slugs, due to the pesticide killing off their predators.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The law of unintended consequences
Just ran across this from Bee Culture Magazine: Neonicotinoid Pesticides Foster Spider Mite Outbreaks