Shows the earth held up on the back of an ant.

We Need Insects!


You need insects more than you probably realize. Every day, in many ways, insects are doing things that make your life better. In fact, the whole world would be different if there were no insects. And your life would be different too.

If there were no insects, you would have fewer foods to eat. There would be no fruit and only a few vegetables. Many beautiful things would disappear from the world. Most birds would be gone, as would many other animals. Few colorful flowers would grow. Without insects, the world would be dirtier, poorer, and more ugly.

On these pages, we show the world resting on the back of an ant. In a way, insects do hold up the world.


Many plants need bees and insects to carry pollen from flower to flower. If there were no insects to do this, there would be few flowering plants and no fruit.

When animals die, their bodies lie on the ground. If they weren’t removed, they would just pile up. Many insects help to keep the world clean by eating dead animals.

Insects are an important food supply for many spiders, reptiles, fish, birds, and mammals. If there were no insects to eat, most of these animals would die. And this would cause a severe food shortage for all other animals and people.

Every day, many trees and plants die and fall to the ground. If it weren’t for insects, there would be piles of dead wood everywhere. Wood-boring insects often eat dead wood and drill holes in it. This helps bacteria enter the wood, which makes the wood rot faster. When the dead wood is removed, there is space for new trees to grow.

Plants can’t grow in soil that is too tightly packed, because they can’t spread their roots. Many insects and other small animals loosen the soil and make it possible for plants to grow. One of the best diggers is the mole cricket. If you look closely at its front legs, you’ll see that they are built like little shovels.