Insect Pests – Do They Serve A Purpose?

Q: What possible purpose do hornets, wasps, fleas, and mosquitos serve?

A: Retired Fernbank naturalist David Funderburk says it’s all about “pollination, predation, and parasitism”. Hornets and wasps pollinate flowers and eat aphids, caterpillars and other landscape pests. Without wasps, there would be no Fig Newtons! Mosquitoes (particularly the larvae) are important food for fish and amphibians. Fleas are food for small birds and soil-dwelling creatures. According to David, “There are no “good” and “bad” organisms. We just judge them based on whether or not an individual species or an individual organism makes a person’s life better or worse.

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