Pests and Mosquitoes in Rice Fields
Insect pests can cause up to 50% yield and quality losses, posing a significant threat to the U.S. rice crop. Rice is a staple food crop, supports numerous industries, and provides essential wildlife habitat. Since the U.S. is one of the world’s largest exporters of rice (in 2005, 3.3 million acres were planted and 40% of the crop was exported), ensuring good rice harvests promotes economic stability and food security at home and abroad. Rice growers, industries that rely on rice, pest control industries, public health groups, rural communities, and scientists are working diligently to effectively manage pests. However, some methods used to control rice pests can lead to outbreaks of mosquitoes by limiting predators and enhancing conditions and resources for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that breed in rice fields are efficient vectors of diseases that threaten the health of humans, livestock, and wildlife. Uncontrolled mosquitoes can also reduce property values, cause labor problems, and hinder the tourist industry. Poor management that lacks coordination of control methods used by rice growers and mosquito abatement personnel can lead to lower rice yields, greater costs of production, environmental damage, and public health threats.
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