Buenos Aires experiences heat wave and insect invasion – 03/16/2023 – World

Buenos Aires experiences heat wave and insect invasion – 03/16/2023 – World

The historic heat wave that the region of Buenos Aires, Argentina, is experiencing has made residents face an unusual challenge that is even restricted to agricultural producers: the widespread presence of thrips, small insects similar to lice.

Porteños reported the presence of the animals on social media. According to the Argentine National Meteorological System, on the last day 11 Buenos Aires registered more than 32°C for 12 consecutive days – surpassing the record of the 2017 heat wave, which lasted 11 days.

Experts heard by the newspaper La Nación pointed out that the presence of thrips could be associated with the combination of drought and extreme heat. With this scenario, agricultural crops, which usually attract insects, did not develop, which forced the thrips to migrate to other urbanized regions.

Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) describes thrips as small insects with a narrow body and fringed wings. They attack a wide variety of plants, especially cultivated ones. They usually live on leaves, buds, flowers and under the bark of trees.

Contact with insects can cause skin irritation, similar to contact with fleas, but to a lesser extent. To protect yourself, experts point out, the best way is to apply repellent.

The combination of drought and extreme heat that parts of Argentina are experiencing would be directly related to the climate emergency, according to the research group World Weather Attribution.

In a recent report, they point out that the high temperatures recorded in the final months of 2022 —a direct result of the climate crisis— impact the amount of water available on the Earth’s surface, reducing reserves and thus aggravating the drought situation.

Since 2019, the country and other neighbors in South America have been experiencing drought. In the last four months of last year, there was only 44% of the average precipitation for the period in the region, which corresponds to the lowest value in at least 35 years, says the Argentine Meteorological Service.

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