With the country now bracing for a third winter of heat and cold, people in many parts of the country have begun calling the carpet beetle one of the worst pests.
The pest has devastated crops in Australia’s south-east, affecting thousands of people in the state of Queensland, as well as hundreds of thousands of households in Victoria.
The problem is a by-product of the climate change which, over the past decade, has caused the earth’s surface to cool, and the plants it depends on to grow to thrive.
In Queensland, a research project by the University of Queensland and the Queensland Government found the pest was “the biggest and most widespread pest on the continent” – more than the Australian Redbacks and the New Zealand Moth.
In Victoria, carpet beetles have devastated crops across the state, affecting about 15,000 people, according to the state government.
In Sydney, the carpet beetles that were introduced to the city are estimated to be responsible for the destruction of more than 2,000 hectares of farmland.
In some parts of New South Wales, where the carpet bugs were first recorded, the number of carpet beetles is estimated to have been over 10,000.
But the carpet bug has now been blamed for the loss of more land in Sydney than all the feral cats and the feral horses in the city combined.ABC News reported in May that the carpet problem is “the most serious human health problem” in Australia.
The report found the carpet insect’s arrival in the country has caused “the largest loss of agricultural land since the Dust Bowl”.
The report added that the spread of the carpet infestation is now a major problem in Australia, with a “massive decline” in land holdings.ABC reported that, since the introduction of the carpets, land values in Australia have fallen by more than $50 billion.
A spokesperson for the Australian Government told the ABC: “While it’s not clear how long the carpet pest will remain, we will not tolerate the carpet invasion into our rural communities.
The government is committed to finding a permanent solution.”
Topics:hobart-7000,environment,environmental-policy,environment-management,agriculture-and-lifestyle,environment—other-food-processing,environmentaustraliaFirst posted May 07, 2019 18:45:42Contact Matt WaughMore stories from Western Australia