Bugs tend to make us cringe and cower in the corner when we see them due to their multiple eyes, hairy bodies, many legs and tendency to bite or sting us. We wonder why some bugs even exist; the only purpose they serve is to annoy us, right? As it turns outs all bugs are helpful - yes, even cockroaches!
In some countries, termites are a source of food for multiple animals, including chimpanzees. They are also beneficial to the environment because of their ability to digest cellulose, the nutrient base of plants, which is commonly found in wood and paper products.
Because of their ability to digest cellulose, they are also our homes' worst enemy. You do not want to share your household with these silent destroyers. Because they work from the inside out, you may not even notice they are around until it's too late! Be sure to contact a professional if you see any sign of termites such as shelter tubes, "swarmers" or wood damage.
Next time you take a bite out of an apple or stop to smell the roses, be sure to thank the bees. These buzzing insects pollinate more than 100 agricultural crops in the United States which means bees help contribute to more than one-third of the food Americans eat!
Although bees will not seek you out, they will sting if they feel that they or their hives are being threatened. If a bee is targeting you, keep in mind that they have been known to chase a "threat" up to half a mile so be sure you have your running shoes on!
Not only are butterflies beautiful, they are also a sign of a healthy environment and ecosystem. In addition, butterflies serve as an excellent source of food for birds and other animals, like bats.
Some butterfly species can lay their eggs in places that we don't want them to. The garden is a great example of this. Eggs from butterflies become large caterpillars that will in turn devour your garden plants!
Did you know that dragonfly larvae eat almost anything that is smaller than them? This includes the ever-so-pesky mosquitoes we all dread in the summer months. An adult dragonfly can eat 30 to hundreds of mosquitoes per day.
Dragonflies are excellent hunters. Although this is a good thing when they are hunting "bad bugs," we don't want them to eat the good bugs that may be beneficial to our environment.
Although mosquitoes are almost always a bother to humans, they are an excellent source of food for other animals including bats, dragonflies, birds and, believe it or not, fish! Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water and end up being a great point of food supply for nearby aquatic animals.
Just the word mosquito is enough to make anyone cringe. Mosquitoes feed on the blood of humans and other animals. Not only are their bites irritating, they can be dangerous too, easily transmitting diseases like malaria from one mammal to the next.
Consider cockroaches the vacuum cleaners of the insect world. They eat anything and everything in their path and, in doing so, help to further break down waste left by both humans and animals. In addition, cockroaches are also farmed and sold to medical and cosmetic companies as a cheap source of protein.
Where to begin, right? Cockroaches can carry at least 33 kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms, and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. Although primarily found outside, cockroaches are the biggest nuisance when found in the home. These bugs can scurry inside through cracks in walls and windows or even be carried in as eggs by accident.
Most bugs get a bad name because they can be such a bother at times. We hope this helps your child realize that bugs aren't always bad! As long as they stay in their natural environments and out of our homes, we can live happily side-by-side.