The first thing that comes to our minds after hearing the word ‘insect’ is a small creature that stings or bites. But there are many other things associated with this type of creature.
Insects play a very important role in our lives, especially in the field of agriculture. They are vital for our food supply chains. In fact, according to scientists, the world would run out of food within four years if all the insects die.
Importance of Agriculture
Presence of insects is imperative to plant pollination which is the reason we can have access to food. Without pollination, there would be no new seeds for plants to multiply. This would mean no food. This is just one common way in which insects are of immense help to us but there are many other ways as well.
There is a whole class of insects that can add great value to the farm. Certain insects make the soil ready for farming. In fact, 85% of soil fauna comprises of arthropods. Such insects like ants and termites improve the overall structure of soil enhancing its quality and capability to grow crops. They also increase the organic content of the soil.
Furthermore, apiculture (beekeeping) is an ever-increasing agricultural enterprise for farmers around the world. The honeybee is one of the most important insects which is of major importance to the global economy. Silkworms produce luxurious silk fabric which is also known as “the queen of fibres.”
Some insects have also found their way into the human diet. Insects like moths, bees, butterflies and grasshoppers are delicacies in a number of places around the world. Some farmers have started insect farms for human consumption.
Threats to Agriculture and Household
Threats are a different part of the insect story. There are several invasive species that pose a substantial threat to global agriculture. Farmers experience major crop losses. In the United States alone, approximately $40 billion worth of crops were damaged due to insect invasion. Farmers need to use expensive pesticides to tackle this issue which increases the final price of crops.
Moreover, households are threatened by exposure to dangerous insects. Insects like borers, cockroaches, spiders and termites can not only threaten health but property as well. Some insects cause major damage to property. Looking at a comparison between carpet beetles vs bed bugs shows how negative their impact can be on a family.
Given that there are benefits and detriments to insects’ existence, there are solutions to minimize or even eliminate potential threats. In the wild, we must be careful when controlling insects because it may not be easy to be selective. Households can hire services to remove nuisance insects in their dwellings. Farmers can resort to a number of agricultural solutions like applying insecticides to eliminate insects in crops. There are a number of other ways to minimize harm.