MISSOULA — Although bugs can creep some of us out, we need them in our ecosystem and they're disappearing at an alarming rate.
Some 80% of wild plants rely on insects for pollination while 60% of birds rely on insects as a food source.
Ecosystem services provided by wild insects have been estimated at $57 billion annually in the United States.
A global study from dozens of scientists around the world shows that the Earth is losing 1%-to2% of its insects every year.
Biodiversity loss has become a major global issue, and the current rates of species decline which could progress into extinction are unparalleled
Researchers have determined that habitat loss was the biggest culprit in declining insect populations globally, but pesticide use in farming and climate change were also contributing factors.
Scientists say the good news is we can control most of those factors -- but it's a matter of getting people to help out. If you want to assist these small creatures out there are a few things you can do.
You can mow your lawn less frequently and allow part of it to flower. You can also grow plants that attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Some good plants for that are lavender and catmint.
Another thing people can do is provide a log or brush pile. These attract lots of insects that recycle nutrients and act as food for birds and small mammals.