60%. This is the figure that corresponds to the decline in flying insects (in Great Britain) since 2004. A phenomenon that is also occurring elsewhere in the world and is a reminder of the need to conserve these essential insects for the maintenance of the ecosystems of the planet.
The good days are coming back. And with them their share of flying insects, some of which we especially fear, such as mosquitoes, wasps or hornets. Rest assured, you are not alone in suffering from entomophobia. This learned word denotes the fear of insects, which would affect about seven out of ten French.
While these flying creatures often inspire fear and disgust, they are nonetheless essential to the preservation of nature’s ecosystems. They are particularly valuable for eliminating certain parasites, ensuring plant pollination or breaking down organic matter.
However, their decline is significant if we base this research in the UK, by enumerating the number of dead insects that have been crushed on the windows or windshields of cars. The study estimates that flying insect populations have declined by 65% in England, 55% in Wales and 28% in Scotland. In Denmark, this decrease is estimated at 80% between 1997 and 2017, according to another study conducted using similar methods.
Another argument to convince you not to kill these beasts again? Since May 5, France has reached its excess day for the whole of 2022. In other words, the inhabitants of France have consumed as many natural resources per person as the planet renews in one year. † It is therefore urgent to conserve every resource on Earth. And insects are one of them.
Lemongrass and cloves are your best allies
Fortunately for entomophobes, there are other solutions to keep these tiny flying beasts away from your home or plate, without taking them out with a violent backhand or developing deadly traps.
For example, you can use natural ingredients: lemongrass and peppermint for horseflies and mosquitoes, lavender essential oil for wasps… The lemon cut technique in which cloves is planted is also effective in repelling most insects with wings, including flies. !
If you have a garden or balcony and the insects are welcome in your home, know that there are methods to promote their spread, such as sowing wildflowers or letting your lawn grow a little longer.
Enthusiasts can also download an application to participate in the study of plant-insect interactions and in the census of the biodiversity of their region. This is particularly the case with Spipoll, a participatory scientific project launched by the Natural History Museum in collaboration with the Bureau of Insects and their Environment (Opie) that allows to photograph and identify insects that land on the plants.