Although insects are commonly thought of as pests in just about every region of the world, one must take the time to realize their benefits in our everyday lives. Without insects operating dutifully about their ecosystems, our world would be a very different place than the one we've come to enjoy. It takes a "micro-level" vision of their world to truly understand their importance to our own.
Without Honey Bees, we would not have honey nor beeswax. The red food dye known as 'cochineal' is made from the crushed bodies of a species of insect native to South America for example. Honey Bees would be the very same insect as used by the ancient Aztec Indians almost 600 years ago in a variety of roles throughout their advanced civilization. Before sugar cane was introduced in all of Europe (about 700 AD), people would use honey to sweeten their intake of various foods and drinks.
Bees in particular assist in the process known as pollination. Pollination is the process of development for a flower's seeds. Flower seeds must be fertilized by pollen from the same or another flower in order to reproduce. Pollen can then be dispersed through the wind or transferred from the bodies of insects such as bees. Some insects are naturally drawn to the flowers through scent, color and the sweetness of their nectar. As they traverse the surface of these flowers, their bodies will unknowingly pickup the pollen and be ready for transport to a new location.
The act of pollination is actually more important to the living and working world than is the production of honey or beeswax! So imagine now a world where pollination is not possible.
An example is of modern scientists breeding a particular species of fruit fly to help them understand genetic or inherited diseases in humans. Without this type of research, our knowledge of what ails humanity would not be as advanced as it is. When such a common "pest" and annoyance to our everyday lives can become a helper or savior of countless future lives, one starts to develop a certain level of respect in the complexity that is an insect.
Field Crickets are known to feed upon the eggs and pupae of indoor pests. Though they primarily feed on plant matter outdoors, they can also be found feeding on animal remains - joining a host of other insects that rely on animal remains as a source of food.
Though Blister Beetles can cause serious blistering to human skin, the chemical they secrete from their joints - called "Cantharidin" - is, ironically, used in some wart removal products.
These fast-moving and scary-looking insects are actually quite the predator in the under-workings of a home. Though sometimes found in bath tubs and basins, the house centipede primarily resides in cool dark areas such as crawl spaces where it can hunt larger insects (including the dreaded cockroach). So which would you rather have meandering about your home? The helpful House centipede or the loathsome cockroach?
Lady Bugs are your ultimate garden protector, feeding on insects bent on the destruction of your plants.
Love 'em or loath 'em, spiders serve a greater purpose than creeping you out. Spiders are the ultimate insect exterminators and work to keep the insect population in check by feeding on just about anything with more legs than you.
Dragonflies love to eat insects. What this means for you is population control of the little critters in particular, the all-mighty mosquito.
• Alderflies, Fishflies and Dobsonflies
• Bees, Ants, Wasps and Similar
• Butterflies and Moths
• Cicada and Similar
• Dragonflies and Damselflies
• Grasshoppers and Crickets
• Mites and Ticks
• Scorpions or Scorpionlike
• True Bugs
• Walkingsticks and Timemas
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