Many people’s innate opinion is that the only good bug is a dead bug. When an insect is out of place, we stomp, spray, scratch, swat, flick, plow, cut, and smash to regain control of the situation. After all, entomologists count thousands of species of insects that can be regarded as pests. Although inherently impossible to know for sure, two numbers I have seen kicked around by experts note 3,500-15,000 insect species worldwide that may be considered pests by humans 2,3. These insects eat our food, destroy our homes and yards, bite our children in the night, get into our cupboards, transmit diseases, etc. Indeed, insects have killed more soldiers than any bullets or bombs; they have literally turned the tides of war 5.
Thousands of species of pest insects! We need to kill all of these insects before it is too late, right?
Wrong. Potentially dead wrong.