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Where are all the insects?

Discussion in 'Biology' started by Yellow Fang, 8 Nov 2017.

  1. Yellow Fang

    Yellow Fang Veteran Geek

    There was a report in the Guardian, a while ago, about how the number of insects had halved in the last several decades. For example, there are fewer insects plastered over windscreens than there used to be. I did wonder about this a little, because I hardly ever see any flies in my flat. I used to see quite a few of those harlequin ladybirds, but I don't see any of those any more. I suppose you would not see many insects in a 4th floor flat in the middle of town, compared to the countryside, but still I have noticed the absence. When I was a lad living in surburbia, there would often been bluebottles or wasps buzzing around. When I went on my summer holidays to rural Ireland, the air would be thick with them, even the local shops. My best mate, who is now a pest controller, says his business is suffering because there has been so few wasps' nests this summer. Is this something we should be worrying about? What's the cause, pesticides, hedge removal, climate change, invasive species?
    amusicsite likes this.
  2. classic33

    classic33 Veteran Geek

    "Greener farming" can be blamed for some of it. Going back to the older ways has affected native species, due in part to clearing larger areas that would previously have been "fenced" using a natural barrier, hedgerow/wall.

    Unsettled weather would have a bigger part though. The seasons seem to fall once a week at times.

    amusicsite and Yellow Fang like this.
  3. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    It's a bit like the climate I'd imagine. A very complex system that we have been farking with more and more. Less crop diversity, larger fields of one crop which can be like a desert for some species, chemical pollution, agricultural practices, bugs killed by cars, temperature and climate change... There is a lot of nature that is under stress at the moment.
    classic33 likes this.
  4. classic33

    classic33 Veteran Geek

    If I'd to pick one out of those posted, as the worst cause, it'd have to be larger fields.

    Walls/hedges removed
    Less places for wildlife.

    Larger fields are sometimes created using land that wouldn't otherwise be used(quarries, water courses).

    The changes required to actually farm them. Not always down to just chemical usage.

    Once they're in place, anything removed to make them will take a few years to establish.

    Most of all you're one step removed from actually working the land. You drive on/off, with little if any contact with it.