A Look at Insects for Earth Day

First celebrated in 1970, the environmental movement of Earth Day originated when a United States senator from the state of Wisconsin organized an event to help raise awareness about a number of important environmental issues. During these demonstrations, rallies took place all across the country. This was the first official Earth Day. It was also during this year that the United States government chose to create the Environmental Protection Agency. Designed to help protect people and the environment from a number of health risks by way of different research and regulations, the EPA has played an important role in ensuring that certain practices and actions will not harm endangered species or certain varieties of insects.

In honor of this year’s upcoming Earth Day celebration, let’s take a look at some information about insects. Though they seem like pests when they’re in and around your home, insects are a very important part of maintaining our ecosystem. Insects help enrich our soil, recycle nutrients, pollinate flowers and even help us keep other insect populations under control.

Two damselflies sitting on top of 2 pink flowers on a blurred green background

Fun Facts About Insects

  • Did you know that of all the world’s different species that exist, 80 percent is made up of insects? There are more than 900,000 different insect species, spanning all across the globe.
  • Scientists believe that there are approximately two million insect species that we have not yet discovered or named.
  • For every single human that lives on this Earth, there are 200 million insects.
  • Sadly, we’ve seen a 45 percent decline in the insect population in the past 40 years.
  • We have data which shows that dragonflies have been around for over 300 million years.
  • Grasshoppers have a history of existence that dates back to before the dinosaurs were alive.

Two bees on a purple flower

Why Do Insects Matter?

When you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors and you have a bug buzzing around your head or crawling on you, you might wonder why we even have to deal with insects. In fact, insects play a very important role in pollinating our plants and crops. If we didn’t have insects, we would have a very unstable food structure. Speaking of food, insects are a food source for a lot of other insect species and animals. In order to maintain a stable global ecosystem, our insect population must be maintained.

There is a process of recycling nutrients that exists in our soil, and insects play a role in aerating the land in a way that allows us to reap the benefits of those nutrients. There are certain species of insects that would devastate our crops, and there are other insects that are part of the food chain which will consume those invaders.

Grasshopper perched on a tall blade of grass

What are Common Threats to Insects?

Unfortunately, there are some threats that insects face aside from other insects that might consume them. Climate change is something that greatly affects the insect population. Scientists predict that by the end of this century, global warming has the potential to destabilize nearly half of the insect habitats that exist today. Insect habitats are being damaged by improper pesticide use, pollution and commercial development. Luckily, the EPA created the Clean Air Act in 1963 to control air pollution on a federal level.

Pesticides serve their purpose in a number of situations, and there are safe products that can be used to prevent damaging our insect ecosystem. However, working with a professional pest control company that understands the importance of insects can help protect our littlest important creatures on this Earth. There are invasive species that we must be aware of. Allowing the introduction of more invasive species has the potential to break down our insect population and destroy our ecosystem.

How We Can Help

This Earth Day, educate your friends and family on the importance of our bug population, as well as the different environmental issues that are negatively affecting insects. Not only do different species of insects rely on one another, but we need insects as well. While they may sometimes seem a little frightening, insects are our friends. Step outside and plant trees to help purify our air, house the insect population and better our Earth.

Female jumping spider (Phidippus regius) crawling on a green leaf.

If you find that you’re in need of pest control services in the near future, reach out to our team here at PestNow of Central Virginia. Our company is veteran-owned and operated, serving the areas of Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Northern Neck. With PestNow CVA, you get the best of both worlds: The support of the nationwide PestNow organization and the personalized service, individual attention and professional expertise of the local Virginians who own and operate all three of our locations. And don’t forget to check out some of the Earth Day events that are happening in your area!