All good points.
I recall many years ago when driving a car on a highway would always result in lots of dead bugs on the windshield. No more. You can go for hundreds of miles over farmland areas and get practically no bugs on the windows, and none in the radiator grille.
It can't be that they're getting too smart to fly around highways.
It was around the same time I read about a scientist who estimated that spiders and birds together were eating every day a total combined weight of insects equivalent to the world's population of people. But I haven't heard any such estimate lately. If insect numbers have now decreased by 76% there would have to be a comparable decrease in the consumption of them by predators. So now that I think about it, there are far fewer birds flying around lately. I haven't seen a flock of sparrows in years. I just saw one lone V-formation of Canadian geese flying south for the winter the other day, but in previous years I used to see several every day during October.
Some years ago I went to Europe and was amazed to find that in Germany they don't bother to keep screens on the windows of residential buildings. And I was able to open the windows to my rooms freely to let in fresh air all right. But no flies or other insects came in. Then I noticed there were no flying insects outside nor were the car windshields getting messed up by bugs. A few years later in L.A. I noticed there were suddenly a lot fewer flies around neighborhood dumpsters compared to previous years, so I asked a veterinarian about these things. His answer was that the new flea control medicines that are getting so popular here were developed in Germany about the time when I had noticed no flying insects there. He said that when a pet owner applies the requisite drops of the magic fluid on the loose fur/skin behind a dog's head or a cat's head, the stuff soaks into the skin and makes its way into the blood stream of the pet, to the effect that wherever the pet goes it becomes a kind of flea bomb. If it rolls around on the grass or in the dirt, you can be sure that no flea that lands on that spot for the next year or two will live for more than a few hours. The stuff is that powerful. He said that is probably the reason that there are not many flies around trash cans. I said that the few flies I had seen are not healthy looking, and have a drab, weak appearance, some buzzing in circles as if they're dying and others not able to fly very fast. He said that's what happens when poison goes to work, and it makes them unable to reproduce too. When larvae hatch many get sick and die right away, and the ones that do survive grow up to be abnormal or maimed somehow.
One can't help but wonder what becomes of the spiders that consume poisoned bugs.
Quote from: Maria Regina on Sat Oct 21 2017 02:11:06 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
We have not seen many spiders either, especially the orb weavers who spin those beautiful webs. And the wasps that feed on spiders have simply vanished.
No more yellow jackets or blue mud dabbers. Blue mud dabbers like to prey on Black Widow spiders. Without them around, there is no controlling these venomous spiders.
We used to have hundreds of blue belly lizards who used to feed on crickets and sow bugs, but the lizard population is very much reduced now.. No wonder, their favorite diet of crickets is also down, and we have seen no sow bugs in years. Earthworm populations are gone.
I learned and observed these things through the years, since I owned my first house in 1980. The Sparrows disappeared in my big city, I didn't see one from maybe 1980's till recently. Now I see them here and there, but not in the numbers I saw them before. From my experience, they and all the birds that eat like them disappeared because of lawn sprays for chinch bug. I never used the stuff, instead I drown them with water. Moreover, the birds will find the chinch bugs by the dry patches they leave and wipe them out. While on the subject of lawns, all those manicured lawns all over the USA are fed weed and feed, read the label, it says not to let barefoot children or pets walk on it for 6 weeks. Why would anyone want that around their property?
I now live on a tract of acreage and do not use any poison whatsoever. I have no rats or mice because I keep the grass low and let the good snakes and the hawks, and owls do their thing. I have hardly any mosquitos because I do not leave containers around to catch water. The few mosquitos I have come from my neighbor who has hundreds of containers gathering water all around. I have Mud Daubers and spiders everywhere doing their thing.
The only poison I use is a dog flea "Frontline" type product (Frontline no longer kills fleas in my area, I had to switch to K9 Advantix II). These products only work for 30 days. When the Frontline quit working, I had a flea infestation in one of the barn, likely from a Possum living in there somewhere. When the dog has the Advantix on, he is a type of vacuum picking up fleas and killing them, but it is like clockwork, you have to put it on every 30 days. Therefore, I do not think it lingers.
Unfortunately the whole world around me uses lawn weed and feed, chinch bug spray, Roundup, mosquito spray and all other kinds of poisons that are not necessary.
Many years ago I knew a tropical fruit farmer who was not making a profit, and he decided to drop all the chemicals and pesticides to see what would happen. The first year his crop was down 50% (the weather really is not much of a factor where he lived) and he had a very slight monetary loss compared to using the pesticides. The second year was a little better, it was a little more profitable that using the pesticides, but nothing to brag about. The third year he was making some money and from there he was doing well and was able to make a living. He had bigger crops with the pesticides but made no money. Without the pesticides he had a slightly smaller crop, but made a profit. He told me that as time went by, the beneficial insects and birds started appearing and eventually they did the work of the pesticides. He said the pesticides are like a drug, they wipe out everything, good and bad, and then you are dependent on the pesticide. Once you are dependent, the industry increases its prices till you are barely in business. That is what he experienced through the years.