Essential Insects

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

"If we and the rest of back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the worlds ecosystems would collapse." Sir David Attenborough Buglife

Insects are perhaps the greatest unsung heroes of the natural world. They deliver so many essential services that the living world could not live without them. Working without pay, day and night, in the air, on land and in water. And yet we generally see them as pests and invest so much money and energy in exterminating them, that you would think that they were evil villains. The combination of habitat loss, industrialised agricultural practices and urbanisation has created a situation where 40% of species are facing dramatic declines around the world and one third of insect species are classed as endangered, facing extinction in the next few decades.

"It is becoming increasingly obvious our planet's ecology is breaking and there is a need for an intense and global effort to halt and reverse these dreadful trends. Allowing the slow eradication of insect life to continue is not a rational option." Matt Shardlow Buglife in 'Global insect decline may see 'plague of pests'' BBC

According to the National Geographic, "There are 1.4 billion insects per person on this planet and we need (almost) every one of them."

I would like to take a quick look at a few of the ecosystem services that insects give at no cost, and some of the simple things we can do in our homes, gardens and local countryside to help them survive and even thrive. Future blogs will explore individual groups of insects in more detail.