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Insect Collapse
#1
The insect collapse got a couple of mentions last week, and while it looked mildly concerning, it actually appears to be apocalyptic.

Science hasn't been too bothered about insects, apart from how to kill them.

We appear to have been very efficient at it: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threaten-collapse-of-nature
Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.
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#2
It's been a really long time since we had a good locust plague. just sayin'

Insects are being sacrificed to the gods of weedless flower gardens and lawns around here.
I could scream at the amount of chemicals I see the "gardeners" squirt around.
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#3
I'm a lead singer in this choir.
Glad it's gone mainstream.

I'll be an early voice in this bold statement:

The arachnids are also taking a dive. At least here.
We use to have little brown scorpions. haven't seen one here in 25 years.
Why? What could have happened to them?

I can assure you, that where i live, it's not about pesticides. Our little watershed is unpopulated. And we're pathetic hippies. We don't spray shit.
Here's the freakiest observation I have:

We've seen almost no ticks, for 3 years in a row. This was once tick-central.
Gone. No clue why. Brown recluse sightings in our house have plummeted in recent years...and not because of chemicals.

I haven't shared this observation with anyone. It's too strange. I should wait for a forth year in a row before going public.

I noticed our scorpion crash long before the insect crash. Almost 30 years ago, Anecdotally, it coincided with this disappearance of our common fence lizard. They were an animal you'd see daily, in season, on a porch railing. They are gone from here. Solid gone.
I have no idea why.

The curious aspect of my observations, is that poisons aren't a factor.
Unless it's residues from 50 years ago. Or more.
I know that people grew tobacco in my hollow, 75 years ago. Not sure what toxins were available to them.
Other than that, it's pretty clean down here.
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#4
There are enough exceptions to the rule to make it mysterious aren't there?

Swamps are drained, open drains are thing of the past, there are less open standing water sources than ever yet still the mosquitoes survive in normal numbers. Yet there are more flowers but less butterflies and bees.
And where did the cicadas and Xmas beetles go? and why?? There is hardly any chemicals used in the forested areas yet the insects are vanishing there too. Maybe it's the fire retardants? But that would only apply in fire prone areas wouldn't it?

It's a whole bigger problem than who gets the biggest weather headline isn't it? But there doesn't seem to be any great public concern over it. Not sexy enough for the Twitterverse?
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#5
When i first noticed it, and it was dramatic to me, i mentioned it to various friends. Their typical response was "we still got plenty of bugs over here!"

But i suspect that they really hadn't paid attention to it. We hate bugs. When they crash, we barely notice that we are less itchy.
The few times i pressed the point, like a research entomologist might, the answer was more like "Well, good riddance!"

I adore field biologists and their work.

What i've noticed about regular folk's observations of nature, is that they're extra anecdotal.
Or even anecdotal with a bias.
That's even worse.

Our red wasps are gone. They use to have nests under every overhang at the shack.

I'm not the kind of guy that notices this because i prayed to Jesus to remove them, and prayer works.

Sure, i don't miss getting stung by them...but i miss their pollination contributions.

The pollination issue should become a big deal soon.
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#6
It's already here with the die off of regular pollinators' colonies.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_collapse_disorder

But I expect we've all already heard about this.
You can lead 'em to knowledge, but you can't make 'em think.
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#7
One of the questions I asked the bloke who bought my house in Corindi when Cuz took me up there to see what had been done with was "Are the mud wasps still filling the porch up with nests?" He laughed and said "yes, I have to hose it down every few months." ... I used to have to do it every few weeks. Maybe they're going too? But they feed on other insects so it's a food chain thing.

There are some old nests here too that have been hanging for years with no wasps in them. Paper wasps, we had them in Concord and I'd kill them off when they got too cheeky, but if the nests were left they always recolonized. Not here.
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#8
(02-10-2019, 03:32 PM)Di Wundrin Wrote:  It's been a really long time since we had a good locust plague. just sayin'  

That, I had noticed, with no explanation as to why, other than patting themselves on the back for nipping them in the bud.

(02-10-2019, 04:52 PM)stanky Wrote:  The arachnids are also taking a dive. At least here.
We use to have little brown scorpions. haven't seen one here in 25 years.
Why? What could have happened to them?

I gotta say, it's a bit on the amusing side that all these things everyone heats, and therefore nobody studies, might be a lot more important than we realised.

Scorpions disappearing is way outside what I'd even guess at, other than food source dep0letion.

(02-10-2019, 04:52 PM)stanky Wrote:  I can assure you, that where i live, it's not about pesticides. Our little watershed is unpopulated. And we're pathetic hippies. We don't spray shit.

That's scary.

Fits the scenario elsewhere, but again, relatively inexplicable. If they've declined elsewhere through pesticides, you should have healthy populations. You wouldn't think the 1 degree to date would be enough to wipe them out.

Maybe those temperature fluctuations?

(02-10-2019, 09:53 PM)Di Wundrin Wrote:  Paper wasps, we had them in Concord and I'd kill them off when they got too cheeky,  but if the nests were left they always recolonized.  Not here.

There's another one I'm familiar with, and it's changed in the last decade.

Clever humans and their "everyone must look the same" program means that for miles around, every house is fenced with bare wooden paling fences. This made it wasp central at every house and we had plagues of the fuckers. Even a decade ago, I'd be killing budding nests weekly, while last year there were only one or two, and I haven't seen a single one so far this summer.

Hmmm.
Love is... that one person whose freshly-warm toilet seat you don't find disgusting.
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#9
Global insect decline may see 'plague of pests'
"Who's with me?." - stanky
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#10
I don't know that places like the stankerosa are a canary in the coal mine, or not....but in regard to the link grayman made, i can report this:

We almost never see a house fly or a cockroach anymore...along with the insect species we're more fond of.

It's a very freaky phenomena.

The old wisdom, based on extrapolation, was that after we had wiped ourselves out, the insects would thrive.

They're known for fast evolution, via their pace of reproduction, relative to mammals. They do manage to become resistant to our poisons, in a way that has vexed our general chemical warfare on them.

This seems like something different taking place.

I'm baffled. I don't even have a lousy hypothesis.

btw, I've contacted several etymologists; PH.D geeks, teaching at Universities.
They've been more than willing to communicate with me; most of them are very open to field observations by non-professionals like myself...in fact, they seek this type of feedback.

They can't explain it.
Mostly, they're as baffled as I am.
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