Insects…not enemy



Generally, insects are considered as a worst enemy of humans and destructive creature of the planet. Mostly insects are termed as a pest and literally pest are those organisms that compete with humans and cause economic losses, but all insects do not cause economic losses rather some insects also have a lot of beneficial aspects which are directly and indirectly related to humans and environment. No doubt, a large number of insects are phytophagous like borers, bollworms and sucking bugs in nature, voraciously feed upon crops and trees cause an enormous economic loss. Moreover, a number of insects are vectors and carriers of many fatal pathogens and play a key role in transmission of diseases .e.g. mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches and kissing bug, etc. Many insects are parasites like lice and fleas much more of humans and animals. Of these many insects are friends of human beings and even their existence is the promise of this universe survival. It is necessary for us to understand their beneficial aspect so that we are able to change the absurd concept that insects are always pest. For example a hundred species of insects have farmer friendly behavior locally known as kissan dost keery.


These insects are either predator (Lady Bird beetle and Green lace wing) that feed gregariously upon other phytophagous insects and mites. Some insects are parasitoid in nature, parasitizing those insects which are threat to our crops and fruit trees like Bracon spp and Trichogramma spp. For example, lady bird beetle can eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its lifetime, which makes them a gardeners best friend. These insects are called biological control agents, play a crucial role in the reducing population density of phytphagous insects and balancing our biological equilibrium.


For the reproductive stage of plants, pollination is essential process; insects are the best pollinators among all other pollinating agents. Butterflies, beetles, wasps and honey bee are involved in pollination of many flowers, the most important step in the formation of a fruit. Pollination by insects is a very sensitive and complex process and, as a matter of fact, these are qualitative properties, which cannot be measured in terms of economic index.


Among all, honey bee is the excellent pollinator, its legs are naturally modified into pollen collecting basket to facilitate the pollination. Its thought they make about 10 million nectar-collecting trips to produce enough honey to fill a 450g jar.


Thats why Elbert Einstein said that if the Bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man wouldve only four years left.


Many insects deal as decomposers and recyclers thereby making environment clean and pollutant free. Spring tail, ants and termites are magnificent decomposers and recyclers that enhance soil fertility and nutrient availability to our crops.


Many insects are weed feeder like Loony moth, and there are combating 30,000 species of weeds, which are a threat to crops. These insects nourish upon the weeds; eventually reduce the competition between plants and weeds. Moreover apiculture, sericulture and lakh culture are stunning commercial cottage industries that are totally dependent upon insects.


Insects are the best experimental animals in almost all branches of zoological studies because of their frequent abundant, easy rearing in labs and high fecundity rate. For instance, cockroaches, honey bees, wasps, silkworms, flies and many other insects are used all over the world to explore the mysteries of nature in the fields of genetics, ecology, biochemistry, cytology, embryology, environmental sciences, physiology, toxicology, neurobiology, and taxonomy.


The rapid rise in population, migration to cities and urbanization has resulted in scarcity of food. To meet this requirement, insects are consumed as food. At least 1,200 species of insects are eaten in various parts of the world such as Brazil, China, Korea, India, Mexico and Japan. According to modern research, insects are a rich source of protein and vitamins but they are fat deficient. In Muslims community locust are declared as a halal food during the starvation period.


Insects also involved in our society welfare, their role in the field of criminology: Forensic entomology deals with the knowledge of time of death by using behavior and development of carrion fly maggots, which are considered as the first witness to murder. There are many cases on record in which forensic entomology help the police to trace the murderer by using all information about the presence of suspects on the place of the death and the time of the death. If forensic entomology is introduced in our investigation system there would be great deal of change in the outlook for the investigation.


Due to the massive use of pesticides and IGRs raise a question mark on the survival of these beneficial insects. There is a need to revolutionize our thoughts about these insects and take serious steps to aware our public that these insects are not only harmful, but these are innocuous friends too.


The writer can be reached at Zaeem.mehdi@yahoo.com

Web Team

Technology Times Web team handles all matters relevant to website posting and management.

Leave a Reply