A Moment of Science

A World Without Insects

A world without them might not be as nice as we might think...

assorted insects on a white board

Photo: Jeremy Brooks (Flickr)

Insects. They're yuck to humans but yum to other animals.

So much of the time we humans look upon insects as pests. But as you’ll soon find out in this Moment of Science, a world without them might not be as nice as we might think.

Bye Bye Bugs!

We’ve all had those annoying moments when insects find a way into our personal space. Whether it be termites eating your house, or fleas feeding on your dog, bugs can be a nuisance! However, we rarely think about the good that insects bring into our lives. For example, without insects there wouldn’t be any apples.

Many insects function as pollinators, and many plants rely on them for help with reproduction. Without insects, you’d eliminate certain kinds of fruits and vegetables, and that might make it difficult to put together a picnic lunch. And of course, you’d also miss out on insect products like honey or silk.

Ecosystem

Don’t forget about the animals that live directly off insects, or off plants that are pollinated by insects. Those animals would starve to death, which means that the animals that eat them would starve as well. In other words, some parts of the food chain would collapse, and life as we know it would change dramatically. The fact is, we need insects a lot more than they need us.

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