Many people exhibit an intense dislike for ”insects,” or should we say, arthropods, that VERY large grouping of invertebrates with segmented bodies and jointed limbs that includes the spider (an arachnid) on the wall, the lobster (a crustacean) on your plate and the butterfly (insect) in your yard.
But, perhaps we should consider that they are pests only from our point of view. There is no other animal group on earth that is as diverse in number of species (99.5% of all animal species), as abundant in number of individuals, and as successful in occupying almost every conceivable niche. In terms of their ability to reproduce and evolve in the face of extreme changes in their environments, they are much more adaptable than any other group.
Arthropods and man are both trying to satisfy the necessities of life, such as food and shelter. Occasionally we come into competition with each other for these resources, or become resources ourselves! To quote Carl Olson, author of Learning About and Living with Insects of the Southwest:
It is the aim of most living things to maintain diversity, and this will then keep a healthy ecosystem. Once greed and selfishness creep into a system, you can bet trouble will soon follow. With insects I seldom find this to be the case. Oh, to the human’s aesthetic taste, insects are destroyers, but to Nature, they are the recyclers, the re-workers and the designers. They’ve been at this game of survival much longer than human beings, and they’ve surely succeeded. – Carl Olson