The Insect Apocalypse – Insect Population Decline
The insect apocalypse is upon us and humanity is the reason
If you’ve been on this rock hurtling through the cosmos for the past few decades and have been in a car driving down the highway you may have noticed a huge difference in the number of bug guts on the windshield.
Back in the ’70s, I can remember how plastered my Dad’s car windshield would be with bug guts. It was gross. Even the front of the car would be covered in dead splattered bugs from the bumper to the headlights, and the grill. It was gross!
Every time Dad had to stop and fill up at the gas station he would also have to use the provided sponge and squeegee they provided to clean off the disgusting windshield. There were also the times that we were voluntold to wash the car on a weekend and it was gross having to scrub the bug guts baked onto the front of the car.
Fast forward to today and you’d be hard-pressed to have to constantly wash your car windshield of bug guts at all now. So what’s going on? Have all the car windshields killed off all the bugs? Well, no. It’s actually a lot more serious than that.
So where did all the bugs go?
Well, as human activities rapidly transform the planet, the global insect population is declining at an unprecedented rate of up to 2% per year. There was a 20-year study conducted from 1997 until 2017 and the research found an 80% decline in insects! That was 5 years ago, so if you do the math, that would mean up to a 90% decline in bugs.
Both the number and diversity of insects are declining around the globe due to habitat loss, pollution, and climate change. Without widespread action, many of these important creatures face extinction within the next few decades.
The ecosystem services that beneficial bugs provide, such as crop pollination and biological waste disposal, may be reduced as insect populations decline. Remember the Save The Bees post I wrote a while back? Well if you haven’t already been aware, we need the pollinators like the bees, they’re responsible for most of the food you have on your plate.
Numerous species have been displaced and harmed as a result of the careless use of pesticides and the conversion of farmland into desolate, massive monocultures. Numerous experts believe that this is endangering insects, along with the loss of natural habitat brought on by expansive human-built landscapes and climate change. It is uncannily reminiscent of the “silent spring” that scientist Rachel Carson observed in the 1960s when widespread pesticide use was killing millions of songbirds.
Pollinators are a good indicator of the health of an ecosystem, but right now, they’re losing the fight against habitat loss and climate change.Jode Roberts, Senior Strategist, Projects
We are literally killing the world and writing the book on humanity’s own extinction. Corporate greed, consumerism, and food waste are all to blame, and probably you too. Rainforests and various natural habitats are being destroyed to make room for more farming land. All to feed your fat asses and as that’s happening people are just throwing out food like it doesn’t matter.
While more and more land is being converted into farmland to support the growing demand of consumption, both human and livestock, more and more food waste is being created causing another climate crisis on top of the ones we are already dealing with like methane production.
The huge culprits for food waste are Supermarkets and Restaurants. Supermarkets will throw out food because either it looks unsellable but is still perfectly consumable or they ordered too much and it goes bad before it’s purchased. For example, people won’t buy a deformed tomato even though there’s nothing wrong with it. Farmers can’t sell a green bean because it’s not straight and just rots on the ground. Restaurants throw out so much food it’s disgusting. Customers don’t finish their meals because the servings are too large, or like in the supermarket, they can’t use a vegetable because it looks strange.
Crackdowns on corporate waste need to start happening and they need to be forced to find solutions to prevent the amount of food waste they produce. I think if fines are laid on these greedy corporations, they’ll wake up because when you hurt their bottom line, which is their bank account, only then do they wake up.
How you can help with pollinator habitats
Something as simple as placing a few Garden Shelters for Bees, Butterflies, Ladybugs, and so on around your property can help out important insects like pollinators. We have a greenhouse and a garden area where we’ve placed a few of these to give the bees and butterflies a place to live. In return, they pollinate our gardens.
It was surprising how much these little habitats attracted their new tenants so fast. Before we got them we hardly ever saw any honey bees, solitary bees, or butterflies. Now, whenever you walk out into our gardens all you can hear is the buzzing sounds of bees buzzing in the flowers. The butterflies are also welcome guests on our property.
And since we love to garden so much it is also important to keep our garden soil rich in nutrients. We use these awesome composers. They are relatively cheap compared to a lot of other composters on the market.
We like these ones because they’re easy to set up, fill, and dismantle. They’re especially good because they sit on the ground so the important bugs like worms and other crawlers can get up inside from the bottom and the pests out.
The ones that are off the ground aren’t that great because important bugs like worms and other creatures that help with the decomposition can’t get inside. Plus they smell bad because the drippings fall on the ground below and that attracts all the bad critters, not to mention the bad smell.
We throw all of our food scraps into these composters. Things like egg shells, carrot tops, potato peels, coffee grounds, and so on. We spread that compost onto our gardens and the plants just love it!
Grow your own produce if you can. Stop supporting the greedy corporations selling you high prices produce just so they can make more money and destroy more forests to support their greedy demand. Not only will you save a ton of money, but you’ll be helping out the insect population and more.
Buy only what you need. If you buy things only because it’s on sale and then turn around and throw it out because you didn’t get a chance to use them, well, that’s a waste of money and resources. Plus you just gave away your money to greedy corporations, for nothing!
That’s just a few examples of how you can help with slowing down the whole Insectageddon problem we’re in the middle of. If we all play our part, we may actually save not only our planet but our very own existence!
Of course, there are dozens of other ways you can do your part, but they have been written about so many times already so I’ll just link to this great example of things you can do to help the insects come back.
We need to curb our consumerism and if I had my way I’d make it so that there could only be one restaurant in a designated area. There’s a street in town that has 20 various restaurants, that’s not including the mall which also has a food court with about 10 different fast food counters inside, and a Walmart with a Mcdonald’s even though there is a McDonalds in the food court in the same mall.
And in the next town over, there is an entire subdivision consisting of restaurants only. A Tim Hortons every 1,000 feet from one another and a few Starbucks. Why do we need this? We don’t. Just think of all the wasted food going into the trash from the 100 or so restaurants in a two-mile radius. Maybe the population wouldn’t be so obese either if we scaled down the number of fast food joints allowed in a certain radius.
Grow your own. Help take the strain off the agriculture industry. Buy local to help cut the need for imported crap transported by climate-killing transport trucks.
Ok, this is turning into a rant now. So I better end it here. I’ve got so much to say and get off my chest, but that would mean that I would go off the rails and go off-topic as I’ve already done here. Sorry.
Have you noticed the decline of insects in your area? Not mosquitoes, we have a lot of those. I’m talking about the good bugs. Have you done anything to help out with the decline? Post your answers in the comments below.