Insect infestation

An insect pest infestation is a recently detected insect pest population, including an incursion, or a sudden significant increase of an established insect, disease agents or weed population in an area leading to damage to plants in production fields, forests or natural habitats and causing substantial damage to productivity, biodiversity or natural resources (adapted from FAO, 2019).

Risk factors

Higher temperature, severe and extreme weather events and drought stress can all result in reduced vigour of trees, making them more vulnerable to outbreaks of native and introduced pests and diseases. For example, the dieback of millions of hectares of pine forests caused by outbreaks of native bark beetles in Central America, Europe and North America is associated with climate change, impacts of extreme weather events, and, in some cases, inadequate forest management practices (FAO, 2020b).

Favourable climatic conditions, disruption of ecosystems and negligence of crop/forest hygiene contribute to growth in insect populations which can cause substantial damage regularly. In many cases, long distance spread of insects results from transportation of infested goods.

Risk reduction measures

Following principles of sustainable plant production, sustainable forest management and integrated pest management practices are the best approach for control, focusing on diversified production systems, regular surveillance, preparedness before potential outbreaks, and a rapid response to prevent escalation to unmanageable scales (Guzewich et al., 1997). Post disaster needs assessment (PDNA) is designed to evaluate immediate needs for recovery and restoration for better disaster response (HIP).

Latest Insect infestation additions in the Knowledge Base

Strengthening capacities to contain and control the disease will safeguard food and livelihood security.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Headquarters
This publication develops a data-driven framework to assess the compound risk of locust outbreaks in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and elucidate the role of climate in locust dynamics.
Dr Hettie Arwoh Boafo, Research Officer, Invasive Species Management, based at CABI's centre in Ghana, is the winner of the Carol Ellison Science Award. She will use her £2,000 grant to study natural enemies of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in Ghana.
Ghana News Agency
The invasion of the pest poses a threat to coconut cultivation, a lifeline to the population.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Headquarters
Farmers are grappling with the most damaging incursion of fall armyworm (FAW) on record, and have likened the destruction to that caused by a bushfire.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
An African woman standing in a corn field.
A newly published review shows that smallholder farmers in four African countries who received pest alerts created using earth observation data benefitted from reduced crop losses and higher incomes compared to farmers who did not.
CAB International
Close-up on a few desert locusts on corn plants.
The Locust Pesticides Management System enhances locust management, reduces risks of pesticides to humans and environment.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Headquarters
Close-up on a few desert locusts on corn plants.
FAO is conducting a 5-day training workshop for technical officers in charge of desert locust control from East Africa and the Middle East, aimed to enhance preparedness of their countries to effectively respond to desert locust outbreaks and invasions
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations - Headquarters
Bookshelves in a library.
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