Most people don’t think of bugs as the ideal roommate. While their presence in our homes can be destructive, their actions in our yard can be beneficial. Check out why common house pests are important to the environment.
Picnic crashing is just a hobby for ants. One of their primary tasks is building nests. These nests are formed through tunneling which benefits the environment. When ants dig tunnels, they aerate the soil. This makes it easier for oxygen and moisture to reach the roots of plants. Ants also contribute to the fertilization of soil. When the materials they use for their nests decay, they release nutrients back into the soil. Carpenter ant nests can help the environment too. When they choose natural wood material, and not your home, they aid in decomposition. Their wood tunneling allows materials to break down faster so that new plant life can grow.
Cockroaches scurrying through your home demands action. However, when they are outside, they can do some good for the world. Cockroaches contribute to the nitrogen cycle. Decaying matter contains trapped nitrogen and when cockroaches consume this material and release waste, this nitrogen is released. The soil absorbs the nitrogen and plants benefit from it. These bugs are known to transport pollen as well. As they search for food, they encounter pollen. It attaches to them and can be transferred to other plants. Other animals benefit from cockroaches too. They are the source of food for many birds and small mammals. Their presence keeps the food chain functioning properly.
Many people are frightened by spiders, but they have an important role in the environment. Spiders are essential for controlling insect populations. Their diet consists of many insects including those who can cause harm. Aphids are one of the pests that spiders help us control. These bugs are known for damaging plants. When spiders choose to stay in your garden, they are helping to prevent your plants from being harmed. Spiders also consume insects that are known to carry pathogens including mosquitoes and cockroaches. By eating these pests, spiders are helping to reduce the chance of these pathogens being spread.
Centipedes & Millipedes
Centipedes are another pest that can benefit the environment. Like spiders, they are known for eating insects. They help to control the population of flies and mites. This helps to reduce the chance of these bugs ending up in your home. Like ants, soil centipedes help the health of the soil. They tunnel through the soil which allows water and nutrients to easily reach plant roots. Another beneficial creature with many legs is the millipede. They consume dead plant material which helps with decomposition. This process also increases the nutrients recycled back into the soil. The clearing of space and the added nutrients foster new plant life.
Earwigs are great at cleaning the environment because they are known to eat decaying material. This helps to keep areas clear and available for new plants. This also aids in the decomposition process. The earwig’s diet consists of living and dead insects too. By eating the dead insects, they further their cleaning efforts. When they consume aphids and mites, they are reducing the number of pests that are harmful to plants. Plant mites feed on moisture found in plants causing damage to them. In addition to insects, earwigs will eat the eggs of other insects. This reduces the growth and spread of insect populations.
Despite their tendency to cause problems, these pests can benefit the environment. Whether they keep insect numbers in check, or they help with decomposition, these bugs are important to ecosystems. While they are great to have outside, nobody wants them entering their home. If pests are giving you a fit, we have your back. Check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective Pest Control products.