The Importance of Insects

Some are crawly. Some can fly. Some are ugly. Some are absolutely beautiful. One thing they all have in common: they are insects. They are bugs. They are a nuisance. They are exceedingly plentiful. But, most importantly, many of them are beneficial to the survival of other species on this planet and in our world.

A person who studies insects is called an entomologist. And, according to entomologists, there are over one million insect species! They can be found all over our world and each species has traits that aid it in successfully continuing its life over hundreds, and sometimes millions, of years. They adapt to living conditions in their environment and can be found in the smallest corners of the Earth.

While helping themselves in continuing their species, they are also important in helping many other species continue on. Our world is functional through an ecosystem. This means that we are communities that work together for continued survival. Insects are a major part of our ecosystem. Some dig into the soil and aerate it and loosen it so our plants can grow. Some, like bees and butterflies, pollinate our plants, bringing more blossoms to flowers and more fruit to trees.

Insects, such as flies for one example, many times lay eggs in very unappealing areas, such as decomposing dead things. These eggs hatch, the young finding food sources in their “layette.” While it sounds rather disgusting to most of us humans, they are actually doing a service in aiding in the decomposition of dead materials.

Other insects, such as the praying mantis, ladybugs, and even stink bugs, aid plants in gardens and elsewhere. They make a habit of devouring other bugs that may be harmful to plants. These types of insects play a major role in keeping other insect populations and species under control.

All insects are important to the Earth. They are largely responsible for breaking down the garbage of our planet, helping to take care of organic waste from plants and animals. 

But not only are insects important for degenerating organic waste and aerating soils. They are also a food source themselves! Birds eat all kinds of insects.  Insects are essential food sources for fish and reptiles. Amphibians, like frogs, love to catch those pesky flies! And, though many of us would find the idea repulsive, there are those humans in the world who eat grubs, worms or even the sweet delicacy called “chocolate covered crickets or grasshoppers!”

Insects can be harmful to humans. Many carry diseases and spread them to different parts of the world. However, overall, insects are extremely important in the balance of nature. So, before you squish that crawly, ugly bug on your sidewalk, think about the good that it may be doing in your yard and environment.