A rare insect infestation in Ontario is causing farmers to implement pest control.
Potato leafhoppers are not typically found in the Ontario area, the Ottawa Sun reports. This year, a massive amount of the bugs is destroying alfalfa crops.
The pests eat alfalfa juice, but also inject their poisonous saliva into the crop, which prevents the plant's sap from flowing.
The source reports that alfalfa is typically a fairly drought-resistant crop, making it a good crop to be growing this year until the potato leafhoppers showed up.
The damage to the plants is initially difficult to detect, farmers do not often realize there is a problem. This allows the pest population to grow, because farmers are not taking pest control measures against them.
A local crop specialist told the Ottawa Sun that he estimates up to 30 percent of the area's alfalfa crop may be destroyed by the pests this year.
Because farmers tend to harvest alfalfa crops several times in a season, they have been advised to cut their alfalfa down to get rid of damaged plants and prevent the leafhoppers from hiding anywhere in the field. Pesticide is also required to completely rid a field of an infestation, the source reports.
Warm weather means plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors. It also means more insects, many of which can bite or sting. The pests can make outdoor activities annoying, or even dangerous for some people.
Mosquitoes are known as an annoying biting bug, and their saliva is what makes the inflamed bites itch, according to the Oklahoman. Though the bites are annoying, they have the potential to be dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control reports that mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis virus, both of which have the potential to be deadly.
Many people fear the pain of bee stings, but others fear a severe allergic reaction that can occur as a result of them. Bees inject venom into the skin through their stingers, and this venom can affect some people more than others. More dangerous is when bees sting and release pheromones, signaling more bees to attack, physician and researcher Stephen Prescott told the Oklahoman.
Common sense pest control measures can be implemented to keep bugs from ruining summer fun. Wearing insect repellent is a safe way to keep away pesky mosquitoes. Avoiding bees and keeping a safe distance from any beehives will limit any potential bee stings. Any beehives built close to a home should be professionally removed by an exterminator.