What If... Insects Disappeared?
A world without insects would be a very different place.
Itís hard to imagine the world without insects. Many insects are so small that we donít always appreciate all the jobs they do for nearly all living things. But with insects making up 80 percent of all species on Earth, wiping out the insect population would have a huge effect on the web of life.
- Animals that mainly eat insects, such as birds and frogs, would die from lack of food, and later on, the animals that eat those birds and frogs would also die of hunger. Eventually, animals at the top of the food chain, including bears, leopards, and humans, would face extinction, too.
- Flowering plants, including trees and many crops that humans grow for food, including tomatoes and apples, could possibly die without insects to pollinate them.
- All plants would lack the nutrients they need to grow, and could possibly die, without insects doing the work of breaking down dead animals and other plants that fertilize the soil.
- Plant roots would lack the underground air they need, and could possibly die, without insects burrowing into the soil and creating air spaces in it.