Insect extinctions threaten our way of life, scientists warn

The planet's insects are facing a crisis as accelerating extinction rates have led to a worldwide decline, scientists warn.

A global group of 30 scientists has drawn new attention to the problem and offered suggestions for how to mitigate some of the decline.

A specialist in aquatic environments at the University of Huddersfield, Matt Hill, co-authored two recent articles warning about the loss of insect life and providing solutions.

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Scientists have found that the planet's insects are also facing a crisis after accelerating rates of extinction have led to a worldwide fall in insect numbers. (Dr Matt Hill, University of Huddersfield)

Scientists have found that the planet's insects are also facing a crisis after accelerating rates of extinction have led to a worldwide fall in insect numbers. (Dr Matt Hill, University of Huddersfield) (Dr Matt Hill, University of Huddersfield)

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"[Insects] provide food for other animals and they can also have a significant role in the functioning of freshwater ecosystems, forming a critical component in the diversity of life," Hill said in a statement.

Hill explained that pollution and humanity's impact on the environment mean that insects like beetles, dragonflies and mayflies are in long-term decline globally.

The scientists offer a number of ideas to slow down the insect extinction, including: avoid mowing your lawn frequently; plant native plants, which many insects need to survive; avoid pesticides in your backyard; leave old trees, stumps and dead leaves alone, since many insects call them home; and simply be more aware of the tiny creatures.

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