GLOBAL DESTRUCTION: There are two terms that are in the news a lot. One is Climate Change and the other is Global Warming. Climate change is real and needs to be put under control very soon. Global warming needs to be changed, in my opinion, to Global Destruction. There are other ways we are destroying the planet besides climate change. Think about all the plastic in the oceans that are destroying all that fish and animals that live in the oceans. Another major method of Global Destruction is the fact that insects are declining at an alarming rate. More than 40% of insect species are declining and about a third are endangered. I know a lot of people will say, so what, they are just bugs. Insects are far more important that we realize and if they all disappeared, humans wouldn’t last much longer. The rate of insect extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. At the rate they are disappearing, they could vanish within a century.
One of the biggest impacts of insect extinction is that many birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish eat insects and when the insects are gone, all of those animals will starve to death. Bees are seriously affected. Of 16 species of bumblebees found in the US Midwest, 4 species have completely became extinct and 8 species are declining in number. The number of honeybee colonies in the US was about 6 million in 1947. About 3.5 million have been lost since. Bees are major pollinators of the food we eat and when the bees disappear, so will many of the foods we eat. In California and Nevada, about 65% of the dragonflies have declined in the last 100 years. Dragonflies feed on flying insects, particularly on mosquitoes and midges. With dragonflies declining, mosquitoes will become more common as they have plenty of food – humans. A lot of areas are spraying pesticides all over the place to control mosquitoes but in most cases, they don’t know what they are doing. Ask all the people who got sick from mosquito spraying Utah that is done improperly. Spraying pesticides for mosquito control is the least effective method of control. Larvicides and education is much more effective. Flies are disappearing also, and can you imagine what life would be like if all the blow flies and other flies that feed on dead animals disappeared. Dead animals would lay rotting all over the place when now they are consumed by blow flies and other insects.
Exterminators spray pesticides around homes to kill insects and when they do, many birds, including insect eating songbirds, eat the dead insects and they are impacted from the pesticides. One good thing is that insect eating songbirds are protected under t trohe law in NM and some other states. The bad part is that the pest control doesn’t know this as many companies spray pesticides around buildings. It needs to be enforced more.
Another major cause of the insect decline is agricultural intensification. We eliminate trees and shrubs that normally surround the fields so there are plain, bare fields that are treated with synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides. We spray neonicotinoids and other toxic pesticides and they contaminate the soil and kill a lot of subterranean insects.
Climate changes has an affect on the insects in tropical areas of the planet as it affects all animals. At the rate of insect decline, which is 2.5% a year, we will have 25% fewer insects in 10 years, 50% fewer insects in 50 years and no insects in 100 years. If we do not get this under control, there will be catastrophic consequences for the ecosystem and for our survival.
There are non-toxic, eco-friendly methods of controlling pests, without damaging the ecosystem. Don’t let an exterminator spray pesticides around your home. Think about the songbirds that will be affected.