Crop-devastating ‘whitefly’ found in US for first time, could devastate national food supply

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
By Paul Martin

by: Samantha Debbie
Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The consequences of commercial agriculture continue to be revealed as the overuse of crop chemicals breeds insects and weeds resistant to modern day pesticides and herbicides. As the well-known quote made famous by the movie Jurassic Park goes, “Nature always finds a way.”

This has proven true in more ways than one; however, one the most notable involves the increasing prevalence of chemical-resistant pests. One of the latest examples of this includes the whitefly, which has grown immune to pesticides and is now causing crop devastation.

The insect, first discovered in a retail nursery in Arizona, causes disease among plants by drawing fluid from their leaves before excreting a sticky residue that promotes the growth of fungus. This is turn blackens leaves, making photosynthesis more difficult.

Gardeners in South Florida wary about new insects resistant to pesticides

“The Q-biotype whitefly turned up in April in the heavily manicured gardens of an affluent neighborhood in south Florida’s Palm Beach County, where landscapers were spraying the flowers and shrubs regularly with insecticides,” according to the AFP.

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