A stark warning has been issued for people not to kill wasps, flies or any flying insects making their way into your house this summer.
For many people, when the weather starts to get warmer, we throw the doors and windows open to let in the sunshine and fresh breeze and before long all sorts of insects and creepy crawlies start to make their way inside.
In fact, it’s something of a summertime routine for us Brits as we battle to get them back outside again.
However, experts are warning that there could be less flies and wasps than ever buzzing their way into your homes this year. It was reported in May 2022 that the number of flying insects in the UK had declined by 60%, as part of a new study.
This means that you could see fewer flies and wasps coming into your house than ever. And for that reason, it might be better if you don’t kill them, even when they’re getting a bit annoying and in your face.
While the declines are dramatic, small changes to our homes and gardens can play a significant part in bringing them under control.
Conservation charities Buglife and the Kent Wildlife Trust asked members of the public to count the number of insects splatted against their vehicle number plates, and compared this to a similar study from 2004. They found that counts were down the most in England, where 65% fewer insects were recorded, and the least in Scotland, which recorded a 28% fall.
Paul Hadaway, the director of conservation at Kent Wildlife Trust, said,: “The results from the Bugs Matter study should shock and concern us all. We are seeing declines in insects, which reflect the enormous threats and loss of wildlife more broadly across the country.
“These declines are happening at an alarming rate and without concerted action to address them we face a stark future. Insects and pollinators are fundamental to the health of our environment and rural economies.
“We need action for all our wildlife now by creating more and bigger areas of habitats, providing corridors through the landscape for wildlife and allowing nature space to recover.”
The decline in insects affects all the major groups. In the next few decades, as many as 40% of the world’s species could become extinct, including bees, ants and butterflies.
The Natural History Museum has gone on to say: “These insects represent some of the most significant pollinators of plants. While plants are pollinated in many different ways, insect-pollinated crop plants such as apples, pears, cucumbers, watermelons and almonds, will become significantly less productive without pollinators, and could fail altogether.
Even our sweet tooth could be affected, with pollinators essential for the production of cocoa beans and vanilla pods.
The impact of insect loss goes far beyond our food supplies, however, as animals such as birds which depend on them for food will also be hit.”
Rather than killing bugs, you could set up an insect house in your garden, and stick to real grass rather than astro turf. Other tips include mowing the lawn less regularly (as longer grass provides a home for more insects), and creating log piles for beetles to chow down on.
This article by Danielle Hoe and Alex Evans was first published by Yorkshire Live on 31 May 2023. Lead Image: (Image: Shared Content Unit).
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