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Slowing the insect invasion: Wood packaging sanitation yields US $11.7 billion net benefit
Date:5/23/2014

seal on treated pallets and crates marks compliance. Treatment costs about $1.50 per pallet, amounting to an estimated $437 million in up-front costs (calculated in 2004 dollars). Treated pallets can be recycled, however, and have an average lifespan of six years.

Economists often focus on the costs of infestation for the forestry industry. But the expense of removing and replacing dead trees mostly falls on homeowners and local governments.

"The people who experience the majority of the damages of invasive pests are not generally the people who benefit the most from the imports," said Leung. "The costs of invasive pests are very unevenly distributed."

Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) line city streets and fill agricultural windbreaks throughout much of North America 38 million landscape trees in the 25 states surrounding Detroit, according to US Forest Service estimate. Ash species are important constituents of native forest ecosystems, particularly the hardwood forests of the east and ash wood is popular for bows, baseball bats, firewood, and electric guitar bodies.

"Sometimes you don't have a choice to manage pests once they're here. You can't leave a dead tree to fall on someone's house," said Leung. "So even though preventative treatment is expensive and doesn't keep out 100% of wood borers, when you incorporate all the data, this preventative policy is still worth it. ISPM15 could probably be more effective, but we should not underestimate the benefits of even delaying the arrival of new pests, which may avoid the cost of another emerald ash borer for a generation."


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Contact: Liza Lester
llester@esa.org
202-833-8773 x211
Ecological Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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