Aside from being a sustainable livestock, bugs can also contribute a great deal to the way we cultivate crops. Harsh chemical pesticides aren't necessary with the right bugs around. Nature will take care of nature. 

POLLINATORS

Its not a secret that one of our best allies, the bees, are in jeopardy as each year their numbers decline. There are steps that we as a global society can take to help keep these bugs doing what they do best.  As individuals, there are things you can do to help pollinators in your very own backyard. 

Across the planet, 264 crop species are known to rely entirely on pollinating bugs in order to thrive and reproduce. Bugs like bees and butterflies are essential to maintaining plant biodiversity and by extension the resilience and productivity of our crops and the overall health of the planet's ecosystems. 


PREDATORS

A lady bug grazing for aphids on wheat. 

A lady bug grazing for aphids on wheat. 

Harsh chemical pesticides are thought by many to be the culprit in the declining bee populations around the globe. Not just that, they also are known to contaminate soil, and seep into ground water which can flow into rivers, lakes and our oceans. These harsh methods of pest control have a safe and biologically appropriate alternative: bugs

 

Assassin Bugs eat flies, beetles, caterpillars, and other garden pests. 

Assassin Bugs eat flies, beetles, caterpillars, and other garden pests. 

It seems odd to say that the best cure for too many bugs is more bugs. However, there are many species which would love nothing more than to consume the pesky critters that gorge themselves on our crops, leaving our harvest unscathed and pest-free. 

Taking into account the tiny imprint farming bugs has on the environment, this method of pest control is a crucial step we must take in order to keep our planet green.  With proper research and preparations, bugs can be used across the world's farms. Instead of spreading synthetic substances on the very food we wish to consume, we release a tiny army to do what comes naturally to them: eat pests. 


DECOMPOSERS 

Fly larvae are fantastic decomposers.

Fly larvae are fantastic decomposers.

Ground dwelling bugs, roly polies, and wood boring bugs are all essential in farming. They consume decomposing plant matter and convert this waste into nutrient dense fertilizer.  

Decomposers are the alchemists of the bug world. 


PARASITES

Parasitic wasp eggs lain on a hornworm in a tomato patch. By Steve Albert | Published June 19 | Full size is 900 × 593 pixels

Parasitic wasp eggs lain on a hornworm in a tomato patch. By Steve Albert | Published June 19 | Full size is 900 × 593 pixels

Parasitic bugs will actually lay their eggs inside or on the larvae of garden hungry bugs or worms, killing them before they are able to thrive and pupate. Having the ability to reproduce naturally, free of chemical interference, parasites like wasps are able to curb the occurrence of plant eating bugs.