Even more worrying, insects in general weigh greatly on agriculture by consuming around 40% of agricultural production. 'The equivalent of enough food to feed one million humans', highlights Franck Courchamp. Among the main farming nations affected by this threat, China and the United States represent the biggest risks in terms of this threat.
In terms of health, the overall cost attributed to invasive insects exceeds $6.9bn per year. These costs do not take into account malaria, for which the majority of spending is not related to an infestation but to an insect which is naturally present. Moreover, this assessment excludes the economic impact on productivity, revenue, tourism, blood supplies, individual protection measures and quality of life. Most of the estimates for health costs are a combination of direct and indirect costs which are often related to medical care.
According to the research team, greater vigilance and the implementation of response procedures for a biological invasion would help society save tens of billions of euros. These preventive measures could divide the cost of mosquito-borne diseases by at least ten.
Researchers suggest, among other measures: strategic spending in the funding of research into the assessment and prevention of invasive species, the implementation of countermeasures adapted to each threat and the support of public awareness campaigns on the risks of introducing certain species. Finally, there is a major need to develop the network of associations in order for measures to fight against these invasive species are extended on the ground.