In defence of ‘bugs’

I think we should all try to better appreciate the lowly and under-appreciated bug.

In defence of ‘bugs’

Re: “Bugging out teaches this mom a lesson”, (Cowichan Citizen, Oct. 8)

Sarah Simpson’s column last week prompted me to want to speak out in defence of bugs. Her kids, she explained, were, like most kids are, excited to capture bugs into some kind of a container, observe them up close, and maybe even get to see what they might do to each other when contained in the same jar. I get it, kids love the ick factor.

Unlike bugs, other animals have a cute factor — and we would certainly never think of harming them. Bugs, however, (actually insects) are considered to be creepy, crawly, and, well icky. We are without hesitation to squish, swat, or sweep them out of existence with nary a thought to any value their lives might have. It’s even somehow acceptable when our kids would place them into a jar to cheer on a life and death battle that might ensue between the likes of spiders, crickets, grasshoppers and wasps. Bugs don’t get much respect.

My edition of Garden Bugs of British Columbia (Lone Pine) reminds me that bugs actually deserve a lot of respect. They outnumber all other life forms. And without them, the author of my book explains, we are all doomed. They are major food sources for fish, birds and mammals alike. They pollinate our crops and decompose our litter. They also eat each other, the so-called ‘good’ bugs keeping so-called ‘bad’ bugs in check. The food web that supports our own lives doesn’t exist without the insect community.

Unfortunately for bugs, and us, they are on the decline. Scientists are calling it an insect apocalypse, citing that 40 per cent of insect species are diminishing. The story of why is beginning to sound all too familiar — habitat loss, pollution, pesticides, landscape and agricultural practices, as well as climate change, are just some of the reasons. So perhaps the next time you feel the need to squish, swat or sweep that little spider occupying the corner of the ceiling in your garage, you might consider that he’s really doing a job of some importance for you up there. I think we should all try to better appreciate the lowly and under-appreciated bug.

Jacqueline Sherk

Lake Cowichan


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Halloween will be different this year but the CVRD and volunteers are working hard to make it special. (CVRD photo)
Youbou Halloween festivities a go, but digitally

Swing by the Hall to add to your haul

The Cowichan Bulldogs’ Ben Wilson runs the 40-yard dash during the Vancouver Island football combine at McAdam Park on Oct. 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Island football players meet in Cowichan for combine

48 players test their skills in bid for provincial programs

‘Gran’pa grew it, says young Stephen Nahirnick as he maintains a tight grip on one of Steve Nahirnick’s Hallowe’en pumpkins. Stephen is son of Jack and Joan Nahirnick and he took the opportunity last week to enjoy splendid autumn weather while perched on grandfather’s knee while the elder Nahirnick was harvesting luxuriant and large garden.’ (Lake News/Oct. 22, 1980)
Flashback: Halloween night full of activities, crime

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Wind and waves were part of the reason why the Sail Canada High Performance Team selected HMCS Quadra as the winter training base for Tokyo 2021. Photo by Ken Dool
National sailing team prepares for Olympics at Vancouver Island location

HMCS Quadra is serving as the winter training base for the Canadian… Continue reading

NDP Leader John Horgan speaks with the owner of a barber shop while campaigning in Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. Campaigning was restricted by the coronavirus pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s B.C. majority came with historically low voter turnout

Barely half of eligible voters cast ballots in snap election

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jordan Jay Ward, 20, is wanted Canada-wide for manslaughter. (Calgary police photo)
RCMP: Suspicious man seen in Parksville woods resembled manslaughter suspect

Hikers say he resembled Jordan Jay Ward, wanted Canada-wide

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A police pursuit ended with an arrest in Williams Lake on Highway 97 Sunday afternoon. (Facebook video screenshot)
Video catches police pursuit that ends with man kicked, punched in Williams Lake

A video of the arrest is getting widely shared on social media

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Most Read