I am an optimistic “glass half full” person, but good bugs?
A long time ago, I was told a very simple fact about pest management “A rose bush in a corn field is a weed”. The reality being that everything on this earth has a place and a purpose.
Termites for example are beneficial in the forest. This is because they consume dead trees thereby preventing them from piling up as well as returning the tree’s nutrients to the environment by speeding decomposition. The opposite is true when the termites show up in your home, then they do costly damage, which can lead to structural failure and need to be eliminated. Every year, termites cause more damage, to man made structures than fire, floods and storms combined.
Spiders and cockroaches are typically cause for alarm with most people. Spiders are nature’s pest control specialist. They eat many times their weight in insects every day. Cockroaches also have their place. Cockroaches help speed decay so that the world is not overrun with garbage. But we do not tolerate either in our homes.
Insects like lady bugs are actually purchased by farmers and released in their fields to eliminate aphids. Parasitic wasps are used to attack ornamental pests that are resistant to pesticides. These are examples of biological pest management and are the ultimate in “earth friendly” services because when the target pest is eliminated the ladybugs and wasps move on.
Rats and mice, of what benefit could they possibly be? Well they are low on the food chain. They are food for birds of prey, carnivorous mammals and snakes. They also feed on excess grain and our garbage, helping to recycle it back into the environment.
Ok, honey bees? Good or Bad? Well let’s see, it is true that honey bees are critical to the pollination of food crops and flowers. It is also true they produce several things which have been touted as miracles of nature (i.e. honey, bees wax and royal jelly). Good then?
They can also swarm into homes and businesses causing damage to wall board by leaking honey and attract other pests like hive beetles and cockroaches. They can also sting causing a public health hazard. Not to mention the danger from Africanized or Hybrid bees that can attack with very little provocation. This would be an example of BAD.
The earth is a self sustaining system. Still man tries to put impose his will on nature. Humans build structures out of wood virtually daring the termites to eat them, and then curse them when they do. We stockpile food for later consumption daring smaller creatures to defile our hoards. We constantly plant more crops to feed the ever growing masses and then condemn insects and animals for what it is in their very nature to do. The creatures of this earth have evolved to survive. They have learned, through association, that they can find food where there are humans. They are not calculating villains intent upon stealing from us or destroying our property; they are simply opportunistic and exploit our excesses.