Insects can fill one with revulsion. They can spread disease from which millions of creatures die every minute. There would be no life on earth without them.
These three facts summarize what insects do, but these are only three primary facts about those buzzing, stinging, zinging, floating, burrowing, amazing, and life giving little bugs that bring out the best, and worst in us.
Butterflies are like floating flowers. They are solar powered. They have much to teach us about use of energy, conversation, and beauty, to say nothing of transformation. Yet, in their larval stage, many moths and butterflies are poisoned to protect our crops. Learning to live in balance with the insects of the world is an ever ongoing challenge.
Rain forests are sustained by bugs of course, and rain forests are critical as lungs of the planet, as are so many living systems. Yet, in cleared areas, there are ever more problems with over-breeding of insects, and diseases such as malaria, and its many close cousins, infect and destroy human, as well as other life forms.
There are more insects in weight than are human beings. There are more insects which are yet undiscovered and named, than there are kids in the malls.
Insects, as invasive species, are wreaking havoc all over the planet. Fire ants, large headed ants, and argentine ants, when inadvertently introduced to new ecosystems cause destruction far beyond one would expect from such a tiny adversary. And ants, are of course, just one of the many families of insects.
We want them in our rain forest, but we don’t want them in our pantry. As there are more and more pantries, and fewer and fewer rain forests, there is much more exploration in entomology to be done.
Termites and their termite mounds produce copious amounts of methane, which adds to global warming, but not in the ever increasing and alarming amounts that Co2 from anthropocentric causes continue to do.
Insects do more good than harm, of course. According to just one bit of wisdom from prominent entomologist E.O. Wilson: “If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” Yet, most study in entomology in our modern world, is based on finding ways to exterminate them without doing excessive harm to the rest of our creepy, crawling planet.
Without insects, without pollination, we would have no wheat, rice, corn, or virtually any other food to eat. They also are a vital part of every cycle of creation for those that predate upon them, and those that they prey upon. In other words, birds eat insects, for instance, and insects also eat birds. There is no way to wear a silk dress, write a note, or make toast without bugs.
Insects are an essential part of all data collected to protect and defend bio diversity. All of creation is inter related in such astonishing ways that we often take for granted just how miraculous insects are.