Insects’ Lives Matter: The Different Benefits of Having Insects
Many people joke about how when they die, they might ask the higher being why they made insects and other creepy crawlies. Not all of them are afraid of insects. Not at all. However, they, along with millions — perhaps even billions — around the world, find them incredibly gross.
While most of them don’t understand why insects and pests exist, sensible people like to talk about how everything has a purpose in this life and that nothing ever happens by accident. But they still cannot wrap their heads around why roaches, flies, mosquitoes, and vermin matter in this world.
Then we did some digging. And the more we knew about them, the more we appreciated their existence and what they have to bring to the world.
Sure, insects and pests are annoying and inconvenient to have inside the house. That’s why people call for professionals who can perform termite inspections and other services not to obliterate them and wipe them from existence but to remove them from habitats and bring them into theirs.
Here are some great reasons these little creatures matter.
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One of the world’s leading resources for food and raw materials is plants and trees. Plantlife will cease to exist apart from the process of pollination. And insects are nature’s leading pollinators, the most popular of which are honeybees. Scientists and experts say that honeybees are responsible for 80% of all pollination in the US alone.
Beetles, another highly effective pollinator, takes it up a notch and pollinates around 88% of all plant life in the world.
Recycling of waste materials
Insects are also adequate recycling facilities as they help manage our waste and recycle plant material. For instance, termites don’t just consume wood for their nutritional gain. There’s more to them chewing on wood than getting their tiny bellies filled. They help break down dead trees in the process and bring back nutrients to the soil.
Other insects join them in the party and have different nutritional sources such as dried leaves, animal carcasses, and other things found in natural environments. Without insects, humans will probably already be neck-deep in their own waste.
Insects also have ecological importance because they also help in pest control. Ironic, isn’t it? But it’s true. The predator-prey theme is cyclically played in all ecosystems around the world. As a result, gardeners and farmers know which insects and pests to get rid of and which ones to tolerate.
Take a praying mantis, for example. It preys on other insects and helps keep so-called bad bugs under control. Ladybugs, on the other hand, consume aphids. Spiders help get rid of mosquitoes, moths, flies, and even other spider species. A lot of us have no idea that we have allies in some of these insects.
No, this isn’t about how some insects are cooked and sold as exotic delicacies in different parts of the world, although some of them are tasty and nutritious in their own way. This is about the role they play in the animal kingdom supply chain. Without them, the entire food chain will be compromised and highly messed up. They are the primary sustenance of several mammals, amphibians, fish, and bird species. Without them, the animal kingdom will look a lot different from what we know now.
Many of them may seem icky and yucky, but some insects are quite known and valuable in particular art forms. Some of them offer specific aesthetic values to different cultures. Perhaps the most beautiful insect considered, butterflies are pleasant to the eyes and often portray beauty and tranquility. Egyptians used a scarab beetle to symbolize their Sun God. Different cultures around the world use certain insects and pests in their crafts.
Medical Treatment and Studies
A scene in Gladiator shows how Russell Crowe’s character was wounded, and the other foreign slave put maggots on his open flesh wound. It seemed unsanitary until you find that maggots eat dead flesh. Dead flesh often causes infections on an injury, so the maggots get plus points for this. Some hospitals today still use this method to treat wounds and prevent gangrene. Fruit flies are also widely used for genetic studies because of their short lifespan.
The next time you see pests in and around your home, you don’t have to go on all-kill mode. Instead, call a specialist that can help you keep them out and bring them back to their natural environment so that they can thrive and continue to serve the world in ways only they can.