Tuesday, April 17, 2018
When I was growing up the air was literally buzzing from March through November. Lightening bugs lit up the air all night with their small flashes of light, bees of all sizes and kinds covered flowering things, playing with (moving to other trees and generally enjoying having them walk all over you) caterpillars was an obsession easily satisfied because they were everywhere and catching grass hoppers to stare into their marble eyes and get them to hop a part of summer.
Growing up, I remember that my mother judged her home to be clean if it had no bugs. I can hear her in my mind saying, "Oh, their house was so dirty. They had a ROACH!" Was that really a sign of the home being dirty? She has an exterminator who comes out every time she sees a bug of any kind. Is her home any cleaner?
She was not alone in her phobia of bugs. I remember spray trucks rolling through the neighborhoods pouring out massive fogs of insecticide. People saw this as a good and helpful thing.
I have a neighbor who years ago signed a contract with a 'landscaper'. This company seems to think that chemicals will save the world. They spray herbicide multiple times a year, fungicide throughout the summer and insecticide at will. They have the 'perfect lawn' - nice and sterile and not a weed in sight. Too bad it is really so ugly. Yes, I said ugly! Grass does not grow as a monoculture in nature and a healthy landscape has plants with holes in their leaves and plenty of bugs.
It seems as though people fail to realize this though. Bugs are the ever constant villain. Even in horror films or science fiction movies, the really terrifying element is usually some larger than life creature that closely resemble a bug.
Many people claim to be patriotic and to venerate the military. They are our 'first and most obvious means of national defense'. What happens if we fail to have enough food to feed our nation? What if we run out of water because the freshwater from storms has all run off or been fouled by chemicals and soil from erosion? What if we lose our plant material because it cannot reproduce or the birds all die off because they need to eat bugs when it comes time to lay their eggs? What if the fish disappear because they need mosquito larvae for their young? These things may sound extreme, but if we kill off all of the insects, they could become the new reality.
We need bugs, all bugs. We as humans need to understand this and stop our deliberate genocide of insects. If we fail to realize this and reverse our actions many kinds of bugs will be lost forever. Without them we will also be lost.