If you have just realized you have unwanted pests in your home in the Greater Toronto Area, at least you can take comfort from the fact that you are not alone in your suffering. New research that has been carried out by the University of Toronto has shown that all different kinds of pests are not just living in Toronto, but are actually thriving. This is not good news at all for the people who live there.
Human Health Influenced by Organism Evolution
The study that was recently carried out looked at the way in which humans, through building cities, have forced pests to evolve into a super-adjusted version of their species, usually with unwanted and harmful results.
Marc Johnson, co-author of the study, pointed out that the research revealed clear examples to show that evolution in organisms appears to have an influence on how human health is evolving. He and Jason-Munshi-South, associate professor of biological sciences at Fordham University, examined almost 200 different studies. The resulting review, which was published in the journal “Science,” showed evidence that 134 species in the world have had their evolution affected by the actions of humans.
Adaptations in Pest Species
During the year over which the review was carried out, several species were examined, including plants, birds, reptiles, and insects. The researchers looked at many forms of evolution and the results proved to be startling to the team. They found that pubic lice, cockroaches, rats, mosquitoes, and bed bugs have all made adaptations.
One example of this is that bed bugs are now resistant to older pyrethroid insecticides, allowing populations to dramatically increase over the last few decades. Old bed bug treatments no longer work, meaning that pest control companies now have to change their tactics to eradicate the ever-increasing number of infestations.
Further evidence was uncovered to show how a species of mosquito adapted. During World War II, people who took shelter from the bombs in London in the Underground stations found that they were being plagued by a new species of mosquito that required no dormancy period or blood meal to lay eggs. They were genetically different from the mosquitoes that lived on the surface. Interestingly, when these underground mosquitoes were given the opportunity to mate with the aboveground mosquito varieties, they refused, and, in fact, did not even acknowledge that they were the same creature. This underground strain has since spread to many other cities, with Toronto possibly being one of them.
Recently, a dramatic increase in the Oshawa rat population has caused distress and concern, and there has also been a rise in the number of rats that are living in Toronto over the last few years. One of the most reported incidents occurred in 2015 when an especially notable infestation was uncovered at St. James Park.
For those who are familiar with the way in which rodents are able to change in order to survive and thrive, this increase in the rat population is no surprise. Rats have been shown to adapt to the poison warfarin, which is often used to control an infestation.
The Good News
Luckily, it is not all doom and gloom. On the upside, even though super pests may be a risk to human health, other species that are known to be vital for human ecosystems have managed to cope with everything humans have put in their way and are still thriving.
If you are experiencing problems with pests in your home, contact City & Country Pest Control today, and find out how we can help.