Gullible as they are, eating around 800 million tons of insects in a year, the spiders are nature’s gift — natural pest control at no cost.
This goes without saying that not all insects are pests, which is particularly true with spiders that spied on other insects for meals.
“Our estimates for spiders appear to be of the same order of magnitude as the prey killed by whales in the world’s ocean,” the authors of the study published in the journal The Science of Nature said.
Whales are estimated to have consumed 280 to 500 million tons every year.
Aside from their astounding talent to get rid of other pests, especially the insects that help spread diseases, it is also noted for its distinct mechanism to survive.
The spiders can live under the scorching desert sky. They can also live on high altitudes, among decomposing plants, and sand dunes. Practically, these eight-legged carnivores can go wherever there is food.
“There is hardly any terrestrial area on this globe where spiders would be missing,” the researchers said.
This makes the spiders the ideal pest terminator.
The spiders, however, are not alone. There are other insects in existence beneficial to man.
Nature seems to have installed self-correcting measures to prevent harmful insects to overpopulate and wreak havoc on the environment.
It is important to know which insects are beneficial.
Some of these insects are even available for sale, which can be released in home gardens. There is a risk involved in buying these insects. For one, they may fly away once released from the site.
The ideal way to have these predatory insects is to conserve those already present in the environment.
For beginners, there are at least nine beneficial insects in the environment.
1. Lady beetles, also known as ladybird beetles and ladybugs. These insects feed mainly on aphids and naturally populate in areas where aphids are aplenty.
2. Ground beetles. They belong to family Carabidae. Hundreds of species belong to this family, which can be usually found beneath the stones, logs, bark, debris, or on the ground. These insects are nocturnal eaters and sleep during the day.
3. Praying mantis. Do not pray when praying mantis is in sight, although they want to ambush their prey. These insects are known to be most predatory.
4. Dragonflies. It is interesting to note that these insects hunt their prey with their large eyes and use their legs to scoop the food. They do this while flying.
5. Hover flies. They are also known as syrphid flies or flower flies. Many of these flies closely resemble wasps and bees, but they do not sting. A little caution must be said here: not all the hover flies are beneficial because the larvae of narcissus bulb fly can damage daffodil and similar flowers.
6. Lightningbugs, fireflies. They are not bugs or flies. They are beetles feeding on smaller insects, slugs, and snails.
7. Antlions. Its larvae have mouthparts that look like a sickle used to prey on ants, which explains why they are called antslion, for their meal.
8. Lacewings. Some of them have golden eyes. They prey on aphids, scales, mealybugs, thrips, mites, and eggs of other insects.
9. Parasitoid wasps. There are hundreds of them abound, which are beneficial to control the population of other insects. The most common, however, are the braconid and ichneumonid, which stay inside of the host insect and eat it slowly from inside. The host insect dies.
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