Only If They Serve a Purpose

Most Hindus believe that all living things are sacred because they are part of God, as is the natural world.  If I find a bug or an insect in my house and it is not willing to pay rent, then I evict it.  I try to pick it up and place it outside, except if it is a cockroach, then I will squash it because they are very hard to capture.  Many insects serve an important purpose, but the world won’t miss one or two of them, especially since they reproduce like crazy and are not at risk of extinction.  A rough estimate suggests that there are 10 quintillion (10,000,000,000,000,000,000) individual insects and more than 1.5 million species of insects alive on Earth at this time.  Without insects, our lives would be vastly different, as they pollinate our fruits, flowers, and vegetables.  We need insects and they are underappreciated for the role that they play, but some of them don’t seem to serve any purpose.  Mosquitoes, wasps, gnats, moths and bed bugs don’t seem to offer any advantages and I think the world would be better off without them.  All they do is bite and annoy people, so they are nothing more than pests to me.  I know that wasps can kill other insects which could be a good thing and that some fish will feed off of mosquito larvae, but gnats, moths and bed bugs are totally worthless.  There are some edible insects, but I have never eaten any deliberately, although I have swallowed a few in my lifetime.  If an insect serves a purpose, I will certainly tolerate them, but I won’t have them living in my house.

Written for Sadje’s Sunday Poser #85, where she asks us, “Bugs; Do you love, hate or tolerate them?”

24 thoughts on “Only If They Serve a Purpose

  1. Eating bugs!!! Yikes. I agree with you Jim that a cockroach has to die when in the house. The rest can stay outside and do whatever they like. Thanks for sharing

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  2. I trapped a little moth with a little dixie cup and put him outside. He hopped out of the cup onto a stick, looked around, did a little jig and flew off into the sky. I hate to kill a living thing, but it is human nature that if we see a bug we kill it. Why did I smash that tiny ant? Now, a cat will pursue a fancy bug…one of those that seem to be unique, crawling across the floor. But they won’t bother with an ant..too small, maybe they bite…they aren’t edible, or more bother than they would be worth as a snack. Now spiders…they scare me unless they are sitting in their magnificent web and minding their own business. A Daddy Longlegs always needs to be rescued, but they are hard to catch in a cup and getting all of their legs in the cup.

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      1. ok I admit to being a far-out, far-left, bleeding heart liberal… I bought some mouse traps because there seems to be a mouse in the pantry room. I don’t want to set a trap, it seems unsportsman-like to me. Besides…my cats are supposed to take care of critters like that. My little panther Pearl used to be a valiant mouser, but she is too old to climb walls now. sigh.

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      2. Patsy, if you don’t want to use a mouse trap, there are certain scents that could drive them away and they make devices which make sounds that are supposed to repel them.

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  3. I tend to agree with most of what you say Jim, though remarkably stats seem to show there are far fewer insects out there now than when we were kids and it’s impacting bird populations (less food for many species) and things like pollination. I can’t stand wasps either, and of course recent years news has shown us a big problem … every bug has its purpose , I guess, if its where it’s supposed to be, but we end up altering ranges so much, often unintentionally. Asian hornets in the Northwest, yellow jackets (European) all over the northeast, the “killer” African bees brought to central AMerica… none of them belong and all cause problems for us and the ecosystem. I will tend to try to catch and relocate spiders that are in the house, as well as any little critters like lizards. But wasps I’ll spray if necessary – I’m another allergic person so they pose a real threat to me indoors at least.

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    1. I read that pesticides and climate change have threatened insect populations, but insect populations are known to naturally fluctuate. The results of a new study that looked at the reported insect apocalypse are perplexing with some species declining, while others are increasing, but by far the most common result for a species at a particular site was no significant change.

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