Insect decline could cause 'plague of pests' and 'collapse of nature', warns study 6 months ago

Insect decline could cause 'plague of pests' and 'collapse of nature', warns study

Increased decline in insect populations could cause a "plague of pests" and the "collapse of nature", a new study has warned.

40 percent of insect species like bees and ants are currently undergoing dramatic rates of decline, according to scientific journal journal, Biological Conservation.

However, rates of other insects such as cockroaches and houseflies are expected to increase as time goes on.

Many insects that are beneficial to other animals and humans are declining up to eight times faster than other mammals or birds.

The in-depth research found that one third of insect species are already classed as endangered, with 40 percent in almost all regions around the world expected to face extinction over the next few decades.

Lead author, Dr Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, told the BBC that this is primarily due to urbanisation, deforestation, and loss of habitat.

"Second is the increasing use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds," he said.

"Thirdly, we have biological factors, such as invasive species and pathogens; and fourthly, we have climate change, particularly in tropical areas where it is known to have a big impact."

But where many die, others are expected to thrive, as "plagues of pests" may arise out of the loss of butterflies, bees, and dung beetles.

Insects like houseflies and cockroaches will likely survive most changing conditions and therefore, be very much here to stay.