The insect population is plummeting, and pesticides are to blame


Sarah Burkey, Staff Writer

For the last decade or so, the population of insects around the world has been lowering at an alarming rate. According to many news sources, including the Cable News Network (CNN), it’s estimated that around 40% of all of the species of insects are in danger of extinction, and that 30% are endangered. These numbers are going to increase substantially if nothing is done to stop it.

The leading cause of the population drop is the use of pesticides on insects. When one doesn’t want to be attacked by mosquitoes, bees, and other bugs, the obvious solution is to spray themselves with insect repellents, and while this is a tried and true way to repel the insects, the good feeling becomes short-lived when suddenly insects are dropping around them. The most effective way to keep the insects alive is by getting rid of pesticides altogether.

Insects like ladybugs, ground beetles, and spiders, are scavengers, meaning that they feed off of dead animals and fallen trees, thereby recycling nutrients into the soil. This creates top-quality soil which helps with plant growth and with faster and better plant growth in gardens comes better produce in grocery stores. It’s called the ripple effect, something that seems as small as a couple of bugs dying due to pesticides could greatly decrease the quality of fruits and vegetables at your local food market.

Also, If all of our insects are being killed off, what are we supposed to feed amphibians, reptiles, birds, and other bug-eating animals? Bugs like flies and worms are a sole food source for most animals, and without food to keep them nourished, they are bound to die from lack of food. When they die, the other animals who eat said birds, reptiles, and amphibians will have no food and die, and the cycle will continue until we’re all forced into a no animal diet, which we’ll soon realize we are out of luck, because without pollinators, all of the plants will die, and the earth will become a sad pile of dead leaves, just like in the Bee Movie, but worse.

Let’s take a break talking about bugs and dead leaves and talk about how dangerous pesticides are for humans, too. Pesticides are toxic, they can cause numerous amounts of health problems if human are exposed to them wrong, because they travel into the nervous system. They can cause minor things, like stinging eyes, rashes, nausea, and dizziness, or they can cause serious health problems like respiratory problems, blindness, cancer, or even death.

So now you know, life without insects and continual use of poisonous sprays will not be a pleasant experience. There are better, non-toxic ways to repel insects, such as soy-based products and citronella. Maybe after reading this you’ll take into account that you’re not only killing insects , you’re killing the environment, you’re killing animals, and your eventually going to end up killing yourself.