The Threats to the Insects

A special feature in the latest Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences is a series of articles on the global decline of insects in the Anthropocene. “Nature is under siege,” begins the introduction to the gathered paper of a symposium sponsored by the Entomological Society of America in November, 2019.

The threats, short-handed as people, are: global warming, climate disruption (heat, storm intensification, fire, drought) introduced species, insecticides, pollution, urbanization, agriculture intensification, deforestation, nitrification (fertilizers).

People obviously have to be part of the solution, and, unusually for a science journal the final article is an explanation of 8 simple actions people can do:

Create habitat:

Convert lawns into diverse natural habitats
Grow native plants
Reduce pesticide and herbicide (or, at home, stop it!)
Limit use of external lighting
Lessen soap runoff from washing vehicles & building exteriors reduce use of driveway sealants & de-icing salts

Increase awareness and appreciation of insects:

Counter negative perceptions of insects
Become an educator, ambassador, and advocate for insect conservation
Get involved in local politics, support science, and vote
For these purposes, spiders are “insects” and subject of much irrational fear.

1 Response to “The Threats to the Insects”


  1. 1 josecondemusic January 14, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Happy 2021 Matthew! This incredible dragonfly is like a green leathered model in sunglasses. I always say that nature is the best fashion designer and the most creative of all artists and all of us in the arts world we only borrow and collage from the natural world. Species selfishness leads us to personify this idea giving all the creative credit to a bearded white man in the case of Christianity…… Stupidity can added to your list of reasons why these creatures are becoming scarce. I am doing my best to stay a pacifist after hearing and seeing a photo of the poor manatee who was mutilated by MAGAS they scrawled TRUMP on his back and could have killed him. Where were the sharks right about that time? All the best to you. Thank you for your blog! Jose Conde


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