Don’t be bugged by bugs

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When most people think about bugs they typically imagine the stereotypical living nightmare that creeps around your basement and hides in the cracks and corners of the floor, waiting to prey on anything walking by.

While some bugs may have this tendency, most have their own specific role in improving and maintaining ecosystems around the world.

One primary reason why bugs are imperative to all life is because they do a considerable amount of work that benefits us. In the decomposition of waste, insects typically seen as pests, such as flies and beetles, break down and recycle organic matter. By doing this widespread decomposition, other life, such as plants are able to thrive and grow. This process is essential because it maintains the waste on Earth and it helps other organisms live.

Another way that insects are beneficial is by pollinating all of the Earth’s plant life. While bees are the renowned pollinators, many other species of bugs take part in the pollinating process and are important to the survival of all species. According to the USDA, insects like butterflies, flies and beetles all take part in pollination. Without the help of these pollinators, the world’s plant life would struggle to survive and in turn would affect all other species that rely on plants.

Bugs themselves are also heavily relied on around the world because they are a main food source for many animals. If we didn’t have the amount of insects and arachnids we have today, a large amount of the world’s animal species would have no source of food and would likely perish completely. If those animals die off, then their predators would face the same fate, and this would continue through to the top of the food chain. Without bugs, the entire food system would collapse and could possibly devastate all life on Earth. This may seem a little extreme but it is a possible consequence.

Many believe insects seemingly have no purpose other than to annoy and gross out people. They are often questioned for their existence. Along with that, people often wonder what the world would be like if they just disappeared completely and if their lives would be any easier. According to the National Science Teachers Association, many of the species people dislike the most, such as mosquitoes, flies and bees, have the most to contribute to the environment as decomposers and pollinators and are key to the survival of other plants and animals alike.

Because of their importance, humans should be more grateful that bugs exist. The benefits they provide for us and our lives are endless, even if it doesn’t always seem like it. So, before freaking out about the ant that just crossed your path, remember that it, just like you, has a purpose and is doing its best to protect and preserve our shared ecosystem.