For all our amazing technological advances, there are still elements of the natural world that humans have not been able to tame - extreme weather and the floods or droughts that come with them, and insects. There are apparently about 200-million insects for every human, or 10 quintillion of the little critters, which is a 10 with 18 zeros. I can't vouch for the numbers, but if you consider that, collectively, termites outweigh humans 10 to one, according to the New Yorker, it sounds about right. Insects, for all their many beneficial qualities, are also a risk to food security and economic growth. Fall army worm, which has devastated maize and other crops in Africa, can spread rapidly, flying up to 100km a night, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Shothole borer is putting not only ornamental trees in SA at risk, but also agriculture. The beetle and the fatal fungi it harvests have been discovered in pecan nut trees in the Northern Cape, and the governme...

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