Insect Apocalypse

jerzeegirl(9b)

It's probably too late for this world.


“It is very rapid. In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none, If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind,”


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Lily613

I just read this on Huff post and it is terrifying. Since we were beekeepers and gave up because all the hives kept dying. Not so twenty-five years before when we started.

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jerzeegirl(9b)

Yes, the bees were the first to go with the hive collapse disease. I have actually noticed a decrease in insects in my yard. The only ones still hanging on are some raggedy-ass mosquitoes.

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miss lindsey (still misses Sophie)(8a)

Keep spraying those pesticides!

/Sarcasm/

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sunflower_petal(5a)

Keep in mind that when we talk about bees, there are honey bees (from Europe) and then there are native bees. Both are extremely valuable in different ways and we need to make sure that mitigation strategies consider all kinds.

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Izzy Mn

I have noticed a big difference between my area and my mom's, only 15 miles difference, same suburban type neighborhood, although I do have a 30 acre nature area about 1 mile away.

I don't spray much for weeds and try and plant bushes and small trees and plants that would be beneficial for birds and bees. I do have a lot of "lawn weeds" My mom's grass is a perfect green mono culture of lawn grass, my dad used to have pride that he had clover in his lawn and was careful not to kill it. I have clover, creeping Charlie, just about every weed available. I've noticed a abundance of insects. I was going to take out a offending hard to control bush but noticed there was a whole universe of insect residing, from knats to dragonflies.

My mom had a spider living in one of her flowers (yellow house spider) that I was observing over a 2 month period. I would occasionally try to find bug to toss in it's web. It was then I noticed what difference her yard band mine was, her lack of insects was quite stunning. There is even a difference in the amount of birds. I grew up in that neighborhood and do not remember it being like that. My hypothesis is more affluent more lawn chemicals vs my less affluent less money spent on lawn care.

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rhoder551 zone 9b-10

This is more frightening then the so called illegals....

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dockside_gw

I don't know if anything meaningful can be done. Read a blurb this morning that we (the earth) is running out of sand as ocean sand is being dredged for concrete which is used for 80% of the world's buildings being built. This causes beach sand to slide into the oceans. Desert sand is too fine to use to make concrete. We have over-populated the earth and now are reaping the consequences.

Re the OP: We have a sour cherry tree, planted about 12 years ago. The last two years we got zilch in cherries (so few to pick that I let the birds have them). This happened even though the tree was covered in blossoms. Just no bees around to pollinate them.

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ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

I have for some years noticed a decrease in the amounts and varieties of insects, and a concomitant decrease in frogs, lizards and birds on our country property. Sadly I do believe that we are now beyond the point of no return, and even the most strenuous efforts at this time will only mitigate the disaster, not halt it. Of the hundreds of countries around the globe there will be relatively few that will take drastic action, and the uncontrolled population growth this planet is experiencing will negate even those efforts. Mankind (and more specifically that of the "progressive" industrialized West) is destroying itself, and unfortunately all of beautiful creation along with it.

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sheesh(5b)

I read the sand story too, dockside. Add to everything else the micro plastics in our waters. I'm afraid our planet doesn't stand a chance. I

Four billion years come to destruction in the 250 or so years of the industrial revolution.


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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

I noticed a lot less bees a few years ago as well as almost no skipper butterflies. Even the wasps -- finding a home underneath my eaves -- are less.

I wonder if the drought landscaping is affecting the local insect population. Agaves don't offer much for the little critters. And the monoculture of giant bamboo -- a mania that has overtaken some areas. Keeps the gardeners busy.

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batyabeth

but but but the green perfect sterile and monoculture lawn is the American way of life! It's what we fought for in all those wars!! And if the government should one day in it's wisdom say, "no more pesticides for homeowners' lawns - it's dooming the earth" we'll get to listen to the faithful (faithful what?) scream to the high heavens that the government is too intrusive!! Bugs? We don't want no stinkin' bugs! We want perfect lawns and it's our American RIGHT to have them!

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jerzeegirl(9b)

I live in an area where people want perfect lawns and the community is on retention ponds which empty into creeks which eventually empty into the Gulf of Mexico. Is it any wonder that for over a year this area has been wracked by an outbreak of red tide that has decimated the tourist industry in the region. I find this to be ironic - what makes the area attractive is also the source of its downfall.

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terrene(5b MA)

I just read yet another article about this in the Guardian. People don't generally like bugs, but they are a critical link in the food chain and provide food for many species, as well as performing critical ecosystem services for humans.

The extinction of insect species is particularly distressing to me because I am quite fond of insects. After raising Monarch and Swallowtail butterflies for 11 years, and gardening for the pollinators for longer, I have developed a fasincation for all insects and not just the beautiful ones that everyone loves (i.e. butterflies).

I do have a lot of insects in the yard, but it doesn't look like the typical sterile suburban yard, andis a wildlife habitat and Monarch waystation. I grow many native plants, and it is purposely somewhat messy in the back, with dead stalks and seedheads left standing, leaf litter is left where it falls, and compost, stumps and brush piles lay about.

The insects love it, and so do the bird(as well as other critters). On occasion this winter, I have watched dozens of Robins, hopping throughout leaf litter in the yard, flipping leaves and looking for berries/fruits/insects to munch (we haven't had much snow this winter).

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cecily 7A

@Terrene : robins have hung around all winter here eating suet along with the bluebirds. I'm wondering if migratory patterns are shifting with climate change. Sorry for the digression.

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terrene(5b MA)

Robins (as well as Bluebirds) are considered "partially migratory", in that they migrate as necessary to find food sources. Since they feed on the ground, as well as eat berries and fruits, some will stay up north if the snow cover is sparse. If the snow cover is deep, then they tend to migrate to areas that have little or no snow cover.

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margaritadina

I read this article few months ago (it's not the first time publication) and I realized that even few years ago the front bumper of my car was covered with dead bugs from driving on the beltway - now it's almost none.

There are 80% less birds' nests on my very wild life respecting and pesticide- free back yard, and in the shrubs and small trees on the front loan. The owl family moved away (hopefully they are alive), I don't hear the wood peckers any more, I see a lot less bats in the evening. I have fewer butterflies and bees but plenty of ticks and mosquitoes.

I believe this article is true. Trump assigned plenty of $$$$ to save oceans, now we need to save bugs. We need them more then they need us.

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cait1

Why doesn't the OP article mention EMFs?

Technology is quite literally destroying nature, with a new report further confirming that electromagnetic radiation from power lines and cell towers can disorientate birds and insects and destroy plant health. The paper warns that as nations switch to 5G this threat could increase.

In the new analysis, EKLIPSE, an EU-funded review body dedicated to policy that may impact biodiversity and the ecosystem, looked over 97 studies on how electromagnetic radiation may affect the environment. It concluded this radiation could indeed pose a potential risk to bird and insect orientation and plant health, The Telegraph reported.

This is not a new finding, as studies dating back for years have come to the same conclusion. In fact, one study from 2010 even suggested that this electromagnetic radiation may be playing a role in the decline of certain animal and insect populations. The radio waves can disrupt the magnetic “compass” that many migrating birds and insects use. The creatures may become disorientated, AFP reported.

https://www.newsweek.com/migratory-birds-bee-navigation-5g-technology-electromagnetic-radiation-934830

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elvis

I think my yard is beautiful. We use no chemicals, none. We encourage bats because the insects are so...bountiful. As lindsey said...

The lawn is green because it's made up of plants, all kinds of plants. Any grass in there is natural. It's not too late to make a difference, just try. Educate your neighborhood, if you live near other people.

Plant things bugs like.


And they will come.


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studio10001

I wish that were true here. I have not seen a bat or butterfly in three years. I have milkweed every where it will take hold, but nothing has come of that so far. I let half the property revert to meadow, so maybe that will slow things down a bit, but in this area we are experiencing large numbers of dying trees due to weather extremes, so there is more dry land overall, now.

I remember reading that President Carter first tried to address conservation back in the seventies. He walked the walk, putting solar panels on the White House. A few years later, Reagan essentially called it silly and tore them all off. Now, fifty years later, we can't come up with any policy at all, unless you count Cortez' ideas. I don't think the Green Dream is going anywhere, but I also think she is more truthful about the urgency of this than most in DC. When the cost of food becomes prohibitive, or fruit becomes unavailable, voters will demand action, but I have no faith in the outcome.

Your yard IS beautiful, by the way. :)

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Chi

It's very sad. I see dead bees everywhere but rarely see living ones anymore. There was one on my walkway today and I gave it some sugar water in hopes of perking it up but it was dead.

One thing we have plenty of is ants. I am constantly battling them in my kitchen. I'm convinced my house is on a giant ant hill.

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elvis

I'm sorry for what's happening in other necks of the woods. People just don't think.

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palisades_

When people use lots of insecticides and fungicides, especially the synthetic products, beneficial insects, earthworms, birds, bees, toads, bats populations are adversely affected. Not to mention blood cancers are more prevalent among those who use the chemicals. I have learnt to garden naturally by selecting disease resistant plants and flowers, and let the birds and the bees take care the rest. My only complaint is the Japanese Beatles that I have to hand pick them off the roses. Nature is in balance here with lots of birds, spiders, bees, butterflies. On a larger scale, I wonder if the agriculture industry continue to practice the green growing method with less chemical uses on their crops. I also think radio magnetic radiation from cell phone towers can send confuse signal to insects and and birds when they use them to navigate, migrate, and find food.

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THOR, Son of ODIN(2)

We are in a major extinction event. Bats, snakes, and amphibians are going locally extinct because of diseases. A plague has eradicated native crayfish from Europe.

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