Frequent Flyer Bugs

Regarding the hypothesis that rootworms (Diabrotica virgifera) that destroy cornfields have spread to Europe by airplane,1 a quick look into the compartment for the landing gears for a jumbo jet shows that there are several insects in this huge space. There might as well be other pests such as whitefly (Bemisia tabaci), which has over 500 different plant hosts worldwide; it can transmit at least 20 different geminiviruses that affect commercial and basic food crops, such as cotton, tomato, beans, pepper, melon, and soybean.

We all have a responsibility to reduce the spread of disease and pests. Why not make it compulsory to, at least for large airplanes, have an automatic insecticide sprayer in the compartment for the landing gears that would give the bugs a shower after take-off. This might reduce the number of nonpaying frequent fliers.

Mikael Ros
Skoldgatan 1,...

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