Insects and us

Although they exist in enormous numbers and variety everywhere in the world, taking on incredible forms and colors, insects serve humankind by accident, not by intention. But serve us exceedingly well they do. Insects are an essential part of building up, as well as breaking down, the living world around us, and civilization would cease to exist without them.

We are currently in a global struggle to help the survival of the remaining bee population, which has been decimated by some kind of plague. The world food supply would be severely impacted without bees.

In searching for sweet pollen to feed their colony, bees pollinate flowers and plants, thereby providing us with food as well as the continuity of beautiful gardens. Their efforts to help themselves help us, and also establish life support for a huge variety of other creatures, including, of course, other insects.

It isn’t easy to pinpoint the contribution to our lives of every insect we see, however, you can be sure they have an important place in the scheme of things. The laws of the jungle keep the supply and demand of insects in pretty good order. By establishing ourselves in the middle of it , we get the benefits of the insects that help us, like the bees, and have to deal with the insects that seem bent on bothering us, like mosquitoes.

Insects are assisted in some of their tasks by microbes. Through its natural life cycle the insect will lead the way to the by establishing an opening for the microbes to come in and finish the job. Partnerships between insects and other living things, accomplish many essential processes. For example, physical damages done to plants and trees by insects, will allow them to be further broken down by the microbes.

Insects are also vectors of disease. Although this does not seem to have a purpose that serves our best interest, it does seem as though this might be natures population control, where the less healthy animals are affected.

From the merely aesthetic point of view, insects such as butterflies, contribute to the beauty of our forests and gardens. Moths and butterflies have eaten their way through their Caterpillar stages, manicuring the leaves of plants and trees. Those plants and trees benefit from being challenged, and if healthy, will manage to produce more leaves.

The life cyle of flies, although maggots are exceedingly unattractive, contributes to the breakdown of organic material we have discarded, and helps to keep our landfill somewhat less voluminous. It’s too bad they can’t digest plastic. Maybe some insect will suddenly discover that plastic is tasty, and our most recent environmental problem will diminish.

Insects, whether seen or unseen, large or small, attractive or not, contribute enormously to our well being.