New study takes nuanced look at bug decline

May 1, 2020 by  
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While scientists have observed the worldwide decline of  insects  over the last decades, a new study shows that the big picture is more complicated than they thought. The study, published in  Science , drew on data from 166 surveys from 1,676 sites. Some of the broad findings were that, while the number of land-dwelling insects is going down, freshwater bugs are increasing. And if you’ve noticed a decrease in bugs splattering your windshield, you’re right. “Our analysis shows that flying insects have indeed decreased on average,” said Jonathan Chase of the German Centre for Integrative  Biodiversity  Research, one of the study’s authors. Insects are extremely diverse, with many species filling key roles on the planet, such as recycling nutrients, aerating soil and pollinating  plants . The study shows how nuanced and mysterious insects are, with many hiding away under the soil, in tree canopies and on riverbanks. Surprisingly, even when bugs live close together geographically, some populations can be thriving while nearby members of the same species are floundering. The study found that overall, terrestrial insects such as ants,  butterflies  and grasshoppers were decreasing by 0.92% per year. This equals 9% per decade. “That is extremely serious, over 30 years it means a quarter less insects,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Roel Van Klink, of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research. “And because it’s a mean, there are places where it is much worse than that.” Bug decline was particularly severe in Western and Midwestern regions of the U.S., and Europe, especially Germany. The increase in freshwater insects such as midges and mayflies was one bright note in the study — assuming you’re not sunbathing on a lakeshore. Their populations were growing by about 1.08% per year. Freshwater insects were especially trending in the western U.S., northern Europe and  Russia . Researchers credited this population growth to legislation that has cleaned polluted lakes and rivers. “We believe that because we see these increases in fresh water insects, that are related to legislation being put in place, it makes us hopeful that if we put in place the right types of legislation for land insects we can also make them recover,” said Van Klink. Even the terrestrial insects could still make a comeback, Van Klink said. “The nice thing about insects is that most have incredibly large numbers of offspring, so if you change the  habitat in the right way we will see them recover really fast.” + BBC Images via Pexels

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New study takes nuanced look at bug decline

Swiss grocery store chain will be the first to sell insect burgers

August 16, 2017 by  
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Would you eat a burger made of mealworms? Coop , the second-largest supermarket chain in Switzerland , will start selling food made with insects . The country will be the first in Europe to allow sales of insect-based food for people, thanks to laws changed in May. Coop will sell insect burgers and balls from Switzerland-based startup Essento . Switzerland’s food safety laws allow sales of food made from mealworms, crickets , or grasshoppers. Coop will be selling Essento Insect Burgers and Essento Insect Balls, both made with mealworms. The burgers also contain rice, vegetables like leeks and celery, and spices like chili and oregano. The balls – which could be eaten inside pita bread, for example – are filled out with chickpeas, garlic, onions, parsley, and coriander. Related: BUG BUG cutlery set might just make you want to eat insects Coop Head of Category Management Silvio Baselgia said they’re Switzerland’s first retailer to sell Essento’s insect products, which the company has been developing for more than two years. Essento co-founder Christian Bärtsch said in a statement, “As food, insects are convincing in many respects: they have a high culinary potential, their production saves resources, and their nutritional profile is high quality. Thus insects are the perfect complement to a modern diet.” According to Essento’s website, mealworms don’t produce as many greenhouse gases as animal food sources like pigs or cows. 80 percent of insects are edible, as compared with 40 percent of cows, and raising insects requires less food and water. Insects are a good source of protein and also contain unsaturated fatty acids, the vitamins A, B, and B12, and minerals like zinc, potassium, calcium, and iron. Essento’s products will be on sale on August 21 in seven Coop stores to start, including branches in Zurich and Geneva. + Essento Via The Guardian and Coop Images via Essento Facebook and Coop

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Swiss grocery store chain will be the first to sell insect burgers

All-Natural Bug Spray Recipes That Actually Get The Job Done

July 7, 2015 by  
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Summer is the time of year for being outside, whether you are picnicking, camping, doing yard work, attending a sporting event, or simply enjoying a glass of wine on your patio. Unfortunately, pesky mosquitos and other bugs can ruin this relaxing…

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All-Natural Bug Spray Recipes That Actually Get The Job Done

DIY: Homemade Insect Repellent Sprays and Lotions

July 19, 2013 by  
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As people take to campgrounds and beaches in search of a little R&R this summer, insects of various shapes and sizes are rubbing their little feet (forelegs?) together in glee at the smorgasbord they’ll get to sample. Depending on where you’re located, you may have the dubious honor of being gnawed upon by mosquitoes , deer flies, no-see-ums, and other flying bite-y things. Since walking around while draped in netting isn’t at the top of anyone’s summer “to-do” list, the best bet to avoid becoming a walking buffet is insect repellent. Jump ahead for a few homemade concoctions. Read the rest of DIY: Homemade Insect Repellent Sprays and Lotions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: all natural mosquito repellant , all natural mosquito spray , black flies , bug repellent , bugs , chiggers , citronella , deer flies , DEET , DIY , essential oils , Eucalyptus , homemade bug repellent , horse flies , insect repellent , insects , mosquito repellant , mosquitoes , natural bug repellant , peppermint , ticks        

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DIY: Homemade Insect Repellent Sprays and Lotions

Early Sign: End Of Bt Corn May Be Upon Us

August 29, 2011 by  
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Corn lodging caused by larval rootworm feeding. Image credit: University of Illinois Too much of a good thing leads often brings a crash and painful results. America put Elms on every street and within a generation Dutch Elm Disease had killed every elm on every street and every park. Treeless public spaces were sad and ugly. For decades we spritzed DDT on nearly everything – sheep, cows, pigs, humans, yards, campgrounds, entire suburbs even – and then, shockingly, DDT stopped working on the bugs we most wanted to kill: mosquitoes. There are ma… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Artist Circumnavigates Long Island In Handmade Rowboat

August 29, 2011 by  
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Artist Circumnavigates Long Island In Handmade Rowboat

Double Impact Challenge: Why Should We Avoid GMOs?

August 26, 2011 by  
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Last week, we asked you to join in the Giveaway 4 Good and vote on a new Double Impact challenge by telling us how you prefer eat healthy. The votes are in and the majority of readers selected avoiding GMO foods as their best choice. Here’s why Robyn O’Brien, Author of “The Unhealthy Truth” suggested that as an option for this poll. … Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Double Impact Challenge: Why Should We Avoid GMOs?

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