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The Facts: The Necessity of Insects

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“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that
existed then thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.”
~E.O Wilson

They’re known as vermin, pests, and nuisances. Homeowners would likely say they are the bane
of their existence, always needing terminating, but always coming back. That’s probably because insects
make up about 80% of the worlds creatures. That’s 10^18 insects. But they have a profound impact on
our survival and we can’t take them for granted. Those 10^18 lives need us to save them. Those small
creatures provide humans with every organic, edible food. Through pollination, bees, beetles, butterflies
and the like allow the new generations of plants to flourish. The gardeners have learned to live with
them and even protect them, worms are prized for their ability to contribute to the soil with their
natural fertilizer, and ladybugs valued for their diet of aphids—small insects that suck the juices out of
plants (even weeds), killing the plants, and producing honeydew. Dentrophiles have learned to respect
these small creatures, because without insects, trees wouldn’t be able to pollinate. Without trees the
rest of us have no oxygen to live off of, that’s a bummer. Even though they’re small, insects contribute
greatly to the earth’s natural compost system. Flies lay eggs in unwanted garbage and manure and their
hatchlings decompose that material. So if you enjoy stepping in manure, killing harmless insects is just
the task for you. Animal lovers understand the importance of insects, as their beloveds would perish
without the existence of insects; frogs, birds, lizards, moles, and a large array of animals are insect
eaters, including us. They teach us. We cool our residence more efficiently because of multiple studies
done on termite mounds. Scientists engineered, based on those studies, adequate models of buildings
that allowed for great efficiency of the cooling of large buildings. Most importantly, we wouldn’t be able
to survive more than a few months without them, so next time you see an insect around the house,
don’t kill it. Leave it alone or take it outside, it may help grow the next tree, or pollinate the flowers in
the front yard, or feed the baby bird growing in the tree over the window. This most important
biosphere is threatened by us and we need to acknowledge and emphasize the importance of these
small creatures to those who are deficient in this matter and teach them the impact they have on
today’s society and will prove to be significant far into the future.

“If we save the living world, we will also automatically save the physical world, because in order
to achieve the first we must also achieve the second.” ~E. O Wilson




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