In this article we will discuss about the economic importance of insects.
Some insects are useful to man, while many are harmful and le injury is to such an extent that it has threatened the existence of man on this globe. For both the reasons, insects are of great economic importance and its study constitutes the subject matter of entomology, which assures— “future comfort, happiness, prosperity and even the existence of mankind”.
Insects which are Useful:
1. Help in Pollination:
Many insects like bees, butterflies, ants, etc., visit flower for collecting nectar and pollens. While doing it they move from one flower to the other. By this act they assist in the dispersal of pollen grains from male to female flower and thus help in cross-fertilization.
2. Help to Get Products of Utility:
Many insects like bees, silk-moth and lac insects are responsible for producing various products which are of great use to man. The bees produce honey and wax, the silk moths reel silks and the lac insects supply lac. All these products are of much utility to mankind.
3. Help as Scavengers:
Many insects like flies eat debrises and human wastes. Through this habit they help a lot to the mankind by keeping the earth’s surface clean.
4. Help as Food:
Many insects like large caterpillars, grasshoppers and locusts are regarded as edible by some groups of human beings.
5. Help in Decoration:
Blisters and ornaments are made from various beetles and butterflies and are used by many people as decoration of house and body.
Insects which are Injurious:
1. Direct Enemies:
Many insects like mosquitoes, bedbugs, wasps, ants and caterpillars are notorious for their biting, piercing or irritating ability. Some have piercing mouth parts (mosquito), powerful jaws (ants), poisonous stings (wasps) and poisonous hairs (caterpillars). All of them produce considerable irritation and uneasiness to the human body.
2. Parasites on Man:
Some insects like lice, maggot, etc., may live as parasite on human body.
3. Vectors of Disease-Producing Microbes:
In addition to their act as direct enemy many insects transmit different pathogenic microbes, which cause different diseases. The mosquitoes are well-known for carrying parasites which produce malaria, filaria etc. The tsetse-fly transmits a parasite which produces sleeping sickness. The house-fly is notorious for bringing germs of numerous diseases through their external and internal parts and contaminate the human food.
4. Enemies of Domestic Animal:
The insects attack the domestic animals of man in all the three ways—direct enemy, parasite and vector.
5. Enemies of Plants:
Locusts, caterpillars and various other insects eat voraciously different plants and thus cause a great damage to human economy.
6. Enemies of Human Stores:
Many insects, termites, beetles, etc., cause great damage to different furniture and other stored products. They pose a great problem to the food which are kept for future use.