Do bugs disappear from the world?
Today, more than a million species of insects are known to science, including 12,000 species of ants, almost 20,000 species of bees, and close to 400,000 species of beetles. Insect researchers estimate that there are millions of other species in the world that we do not know. One of the main functions of insects is the pollination of flowers, an essential process which without it the plant is unable to produce fruits and seeds.
Pollination is carried out mainly by bees, as well as by other insects such as butterflies, flies, and beetles. Most of the crops that humans grow, depend on pollination by insects, so by harming insects we are harming our food. In addition, insects function as nature’s “recycling plant”: insects decompose animal carcasses, and these decomposition products serve as a natural fertilizer for plants.
Without the insects, areas will be filled with corpses and plants will not be adequately nourished
Beyond that, insects are an important tier in the food chain, as they are a critical link in the transfer of energy from plants to animals. When insects digest plants, they turn them into protein, from which they build their bodies – so they serve as the main source of protein for many animals, including birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Harming the prevalence of insects will also harm their predators and may harm the balance of the food chain.
A study published in 2017 by the Association of Insect Lovers from Germany, revealed a decrease of 76% in the various insect populations in the country’s nature reserves in the last 27 years. Another study shows that the beetle population fell by 72% and the moths population by 54% in the Netherlands. Insects can be significantly damaged even when their habitats are not completely destroyed.
For example, when habitats are cut off due to a road paved through them, the total habitat area does not change significantly, but some species will not be able to move between different parts of the area, so their living environment will be significantly reduced – which could lead to species extinction.
Agricultural pesticides also harm insects. Such damage can occur when the pesticide leeks from the fields into the environment, and it kills insects that are not only agricultural pests but beneficial species that act as natural exterminators for agricultural pests. Another main reason for the disappearance of bugs is invasive species. Animals or plants that have been spread as a result of human activity to an area outside their natural habitat, and have managed to survive in it while repressing the native species.
In conclusion, we should all think about our actions before doing them. We can harm nature in many ways without even notice it at all. Insects that may seem to be annoying or scary to people are a big part of our ecosystem and we should not take them for granted. We should do more researchers so we can find out how to reduce harming insects and their habitats.
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