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do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

every year during the season our vehicles kill billions of tons of insects, depriving the birds and other creatures of food.  is that why the sparrows have all but disappeared from london?  every aircraft that flies and every road vehicle smashes into insects on its journey.
should we stop driving for a period in the summer?
29 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

Do you have any scientific evidence to support this assertion? If not a highly paid government committee with as many consultants as possible stuffed into it should be set up immediately to look into it, to report in say 2050.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

And they should go on a world wide tour to investigate if the assumptions are true or faalse
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

do you drive?  in summer how often do you have to wash the bugs off your windscreen?  multiply that by all the vehicles on the road and all the aircraft flying and common sense tells you it must be a fair old tonnage.
jmd
Grafter
Posts: 2,933
Thanks: 2
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

I think the snow has got to you if yoiu have started worrying about summer time!
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,834
Thanks: 1,124
Fixes: 13
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

I think that if Artificer applies for a grant from the EU to investigate this probability, it would be just as worthwhile as many others they give millions of pounds to.... 
Please can I be  on the committee?  Haven`t had a holiday abroad for a long time ! ! !
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

I dont think the insects squashed by cars and planes are going to make to much of a dent in the overall population
Quote
How many insects are there in the world? And how many different species of insects are there?
According to ESA member and Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. E.O. Wilson of Harvard University, there are nearly 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 quintillion) insects in the world.
More than one million different species of insects have been identified, but some experts believe that there may be as many as 30 million insect species in the world that have yet to be discovered and identified.

Source Entomological Society of America (ESA)
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

But may at individual species level.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

ooh sorry, I have to say I like spiders and would never kill one except the nasty one poisonous ones that bite you
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

Ugh no!! spiders no please, don't talk about spiders...there was one in my shower this morning, great hairy thing with red staring eyes and fangs, it sat there daring me to get in...flushed it down the plug hole, swear I heard it scream "I'll be back with the boy's" shudder shudder...
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

Spiders are ok, I have some wandering around my loft office. I leave them be hoping they will eat other things I might not like.
I have to catch the spiders seen in the bedrooms and I take them outside where they can re-evaluate their domestic requirements.
But watch out for these little buggers
Different story when I am in the US, their spiders are nasty and I have had to kill some of them.
StickyMick
Grafter
Posts: 325
Registered: 29-11-2008

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

I should think that pesticides and new virus strains (a bi-product of said pesticides) are responsible for more damage than the motorist.
Watched a program last week about the disappearance of whole honeybee stocks around the globe. A case in point being the use of pesticides in one Chinese province has led to the complete annihilation of the honeybee, thus requiring farmers to pollinate their entire stocks by hand.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

I can't believe the number killed by cars is more than a tiny fraction of the total number of insects. The decline in certain birds is probably due to pollution, pesticides, loss of habitat etc. Short term weather variation can have a big effect from year to year as well. A cold snap at the wrong time, or a warm spell leading to plants flowering early, will all affect the availability of insects.
There is little to fear from spiders in this country. One or two native ones can bite, but rarely do. There are <a href="http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/ticks.htm">other creepy crawlies</a> you really should be wary of.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

I am aware of your illness with Lyme Disease from another thread and wish you well.
I came across this in the US a few years ago. There is significant problem there with deer ticks that drop out the trees onto the deer me.
I had spent many a weekend walking in the woods in tee shirt and shorts and thought nothing of it.
One day I was walking in a state park and came across the park office. There was a big sign on the wall warning about deer ticks [with pictures] and Lyme Disease.
I dashed back to the hotel for a long shower and a good scrub! I don't walk under trees when I am in the US any more!
Subsequently  I came across people like you who had contracted Lyme Disease and the consequences were shocking. [not for here]
So I second your warning about ticks, people should be more aware of them.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: do our vehicles kill enough insects to jeopardise the creatures feeding on them?

Thank you. It was really not nice, I can tell you, although I am not going to start on the details! We do, collectively, seem to have a strange attitude to risk, and often worry about the wrong things. We are concerned about mad cow disease, or mobile phone masts or whatever, but we all get in our cars without thinking twice.