Study: Non-native Forest Pests Cost Governments and Homeowners Billions

close-up photo of an inch-long, shiny green insect--commonly called a Emerald Ash Borer--on the underside of a large tree leafA group of ecologists and economists find that non-native forest insects in the U.S. cost billions of dollars, and governments and homeowners pay the price.

Economic Impacts of Non-Native Forest Insects in the Continental United States
J.E. Aukema, B. Leung K. Kovacs, C. Chivers, K.O. Britton, J. Englin, S.J. Frankel, R.G. Haight, T.P. Holmes, A. Liebhold, D.G. McCullough, B.Von Holle
PLoS One 6(9): e24587 (9 Sept 2011)

The findings of this research paper were cited in support of the Safeguarding American Agriculture Act of 2011 proposed by U.S. Senators Akaka & Feinstein:
"A research team comprised of biologists and economists from U.S. and Canadian universities and the U.S. Forest Service published a study last month finding that invasive wood-boring pests, such as the emerald ash borer and the Asian longhorned beetle, cost homeowners an estimated $830 million a year in lost property values and cost local governments an estimated $1.7 billion a year as a result of damaged trees and woodlands."

A sample of the media coverage of this study:
NY Times Green blog: The Toll From Tree-Boring Pests
The Nature Conservancy: Forest Pests: Boring a hole in your wallet
Miller-McCune: Body Count: Putting a Price on Invasive Insect Damage
Conservation Magazine: Boring Expenses
Scientific American podcast: Invasive Insects Take Big Cash Bite
Wall Street Journal Ideas Market blog: Taxpayers feel bite from invasive species
Consumer Reports: Non-native insects costs taxpayers billions each year

More information about this Working Group's research and publications


NCEAS News and Announcements

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest research, calls for proposals, stories, and opportunities at NCEAS.
Posted on September 9, 2011