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View Poll Results: Are you seeing a decline in the number of insects where you live?
yes, definitely 28 38.89%
no 37 51.39%
can't really say that i've paid enough attention to say 4 5.56%
other 3 4.17%
Voters: 72. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 07-25-2019, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,644 posts, read 11,952,449 times
Reputation: 11025

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In some places on my property the Japanese stiltgrass (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microstegium_vimineum) has grown unobstructed this year. My primary riding tractor was broken down and took some time to get running again while waiting for parts. When I did mow I noticed that many insects were enjoying the high stiltgrass.

In other areas of my county the Japanese Knotweed (Invasive-Species--Japanese-Knotweed) has taken over alongside our streams. While it might reduce the food sources for wildlife; it does provide cover and habitat for insects.

We have had some invasive plants for centuries. We have introduced them in our quest for new ornamentals or by accident: https://insider.si.edu/2013/04/top-s...united-states/. I have to presume that these plants have terraformed our land to replicate their natural environments. In doing so some insect species have flourished and some have faded into near extinction.

So I have to wonder if our 'insect experience' and observations are influenced by our changing environment as well as by the invasive insects?
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Old 07-26-2019, 08:54 AM
 
27,743 posts, read 19,461,787 times
Reputation: 14799
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post
In some places on my property the Japanese stiltgrass (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microstegium_vimineum) has grown unobstructed this year. My primary riding tractor was broken down and took some time to get running again while waiting for parts. When I did mow I noticed that many insects were enjoying the high stiltgrass.

In other areas of my county the Japanese Knotweed (Invasive-Species--Japanese-Knotweed) has taken over alongside our streams. While it might reduce the food sources for wildlife; it does provide cover and habitat for insects.

We have had some invasive plants for centuries. We have introduced them in our quest for new ornamentals or by accident: https://insider.si.edu/2013/04/top-s...united-states/. I have to presume that these plants have terraformed our land to replicate their natural environments. In doing so some insect species have flourished and some have faded into near extinction.

So I have to wonder if our 'insect experience' and observations are influenced by our changing environment as well as by the invasive insects?
it's got to be having an impact - just what kind of impact is impossible to say. for example, think of all the life forms that depended in some way on the now virtually extinct American elm and American chestnut - what happened to those critters? did they find something else to eat?

i have lots of that Japanese stiltgrass too; i see quite a few baby katydids hopping around in it, sometimes pursued by baby praying mantids.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:46 AM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
14,644 posts, read 11,952,449 times
Reputation: 11025
Quote:
Originally Posted by uggabugga View Post
it's got to be having an impact - just what kind of impact is impossible to say. for example, think of all the life forms that depended in some way on the now virtually extinct American elm and American chestnut - what happened to those critters? did they find something else to eat?

i have lots of that Japanese stiltgrass too; i see quite a few baby katydids hopping around in it, sometimes pursued by baby praying mantids.
Our ancient ancestors used the American Chestnut trees to supplement the feed for their pigs. Today their is an effort to bring back the practice using hybrid trees: Chestnuts and Pork | Badgersett Research.

But since you brought up the Chestnut trees; their Spring flowers offered food for many insects and especially our bees. So, when the blight killed them off; it had to make a difference. It also made a difference because of the nuts the trees produced and the animals that counted on those nuts. Many insects thrived on the animals that counted on those nuts.
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:43 PM
 
1,394 posts, read 1,050,910 times
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I have a glass globe over my front porch light that I have to remove every year to blow away the bugs that have been drawn to the light and gotten sizzled. For the past several years, not a bug. This is getting to be a little spooky. I blame cell phone towers.
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Old 07-27-2019, 05:23 PM
 
1,540 posts, read 854,248 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagster View Post
I have a glass globe over my front porch light that I have to remove every year to blow away the bugs that have been drawn to the light and gotten sizzled. For the past several years, not a bug. This is getting to be a little spooky. I blame cell phone towers.

I'd blame the porch light first, and the millions of others like it.
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:46 PM
 
6,880 posts, read 8,229,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
I'd blame the porch light first, and the millions of others like it.
I don't think that is the reason. Our outdoor lights never killed insects--just attracted them--but there are barely any night-time insects compared to years ago. There are a number of cumulative reasons, but habitat loss and widespread use of pesticides are at the top of the list.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:16 PM
 
1,540 posts, read 854,248 times
Reputation: 2557
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmichigan View Post
I don't think that is the reason. Our outdoor lights never killed insects--just attracted them--but there are barely any night-time insects compared to years ago. There are a number of cumulative reasons, but habitat loss and widespread use of pesticides are at the top of the list.

If moths are gathering at lights, they aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing (feeding, pollinating, mating) and they are wasting precious energy doing it. You won't necessarily see them drop dead and form a pile underneath it. But the previous poster I was replying to was seeing moths that were "sizzled" by their light.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:51 PM
 
6,880 posts, read 8,229,642 times
Reputation: 12013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deserterer View Post
If moths are gathering at lights, they aren't doing what they are supposed to be doing (feeding, pollinating, mating) and they are wasting precious energy doing it. You won't necessarily see them drop dead and form a pile underneath it. But the previous poster I was replying to was seeing moths that were "sizzled" by their light.
I understand that...but I'm just noting that from my observations the night-time insect numbers are way down. We don't turn on outdoor lights much, preferring dark skies, but when they've been on they haven't attracted insects like they used to.
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Old 07-31-2019, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Worcester MA
1,950 posts, read 362,036 times
Reputation: 2225
Mosquitoes are out in full force in my yard! I could barely talk to my neighbors because I was getting eaten alive.
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Old 08-02-2019, 11:29 AM
 
27,743 posts, read 19,461,787 times
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in related news: Fireflies are dying out because people are destroying their habitats

they seemed as plentiful as every in my yard this summer, but showed up earlier than usual. then disappeared earlier than usual..
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