And that’s not a good thing. It doesn’t mean no malaria, Zika, or dengue which are in fact spreading because of climate change. Insects are the bottom of the food chain. Amphibians, many fish, and birds rely on insects, and predators rely on them. Without insects the food chain collapses.
A study published by Hans de Kroon et al showed it is not just Monarch butterflies or bees that we should be worried about. It is the cumulative impact on all insect populations that impacts the food chain.
These researchers looked at insect populations in 63 German nature preserves over 27 years.
In an interview in The Guardian Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK said “Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline… We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”
This should be another call to action for gardeners. We all need to plant native plants and garden without pesticides that kill beneficial insects! Better for our families now, better for the whole planet in the long run.
And we can have beautiful gardens using native plants and no synthetic chemicals! But we all need to start transforming our gardens NOW!
Milkweed is beautiful in our new native garden and brings in lots of bees and butterflies. Above are pictures of a swallowtail, and less pretty but still important, a tussock moth caterpillar.