Scale insects are adapting to the warmer climate of urban environments, becoming a potentially significant pest problem, researchers say in a study published in the journal PLoS ONE. The tiny bugs can destroy entire oak trees by sucking out the sap, and could become more of a problem as temperatures rise. "We now have a better understanding of why trees in urban areas are infested by so many of these pests," said study researcher Steve Frank. "And if climate change causes temperatures to rise in forests, as we expect, we may see scale insects becoming a much bigger problem for ecosystem health."
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