Living in Australia there were less ticks for example during the use of DDT, now there are more ticks prevalent here. I am wondering if any insect species have declined permanently as the result of the DDT use, and if some have repopulated disproportionately (compared to populations prior to the use of DDT- if there is such data) since it's cessation of use.

How has the use and subsequent ban of DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) affected insect populations?

Are there any studies on this?

  • $\begingroup$ affected them in what context? $\endgroup$ – rg255 Nov 22 '13 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ @GriffinEvo edited , hopefully this is clear, pls advise $\endgroup$ – user22339 Nov 22 '13 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ yes good thanks, so comparisons of species diversity/richness, before during and after the use and subsequent ban of ddt. $\endgroup$ – rg255 Nov 22 '13 at 14:52

The most thorough study on the matter appears to be entitled "Anthropogenic impacts on mosquito populations in North America over the past century". Their broad conclusion is that various mosquito populations decreased in abundance and variety during heavy DDT usage years. However they have revived in the past few decades. The only species that seemed to have a permanent decline is Ae. Stimulans. While this study was only on mosquitos, it may be representative of wider insects - most revived but a small fraction faced permanent damage.

There is a large amount of more associative evidence that observes a large decline in insect biomass and can only predict pesticides, such as DDT, as the culprit. The NYTimes had a good article on this.

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