insects
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

insects

A rusty patched bumble bee is seen during a bee survey near the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Jill Utrup / USFWS / CC by 2.0

By Daniel Raichel

While many know Chicago as the "Second City," the old stomping grounds of Michael Jordan or Al Capone, or perhaps even still as "Hog Butcher to the World," I doubt many think of it as a home for endangered wildlife.

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Cathy Chapman uses various types of groundcover and native plant species for the backyard of her South Portland home instead of having just a grass lawn. Photographed on June 6, 2018. Gregory Rec / Portland Press Herald / Getty Images

Americans take great pride in their lawns. A centuries-old practice adopted from Great Britain and Northern France, lawns have become a status symbol; a standard fixture of American communities.

In the United States, more than 40 million acres of land are covered in grass, making it the single largest irrigated crop in the country, requiring more labor, fuel, toxins, and equipment than industrial farming. These vast areas of monoculture (the practice of planting only a single crop) do ultimately have devastating consequences for ecosystem health.

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waterlust.com / @tulasendlesssummer_sierra .

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.

Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.

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Wildflowers attract pollinators, benefiting fruits and vegetables. Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

By Brian Lovett

As winter phases into spring across the U.S., gardeners are laying in supplies and making plans. Meanwhile, as the weather warms, common garden insects such as bees, beetles and butterflies will emerge from underground burrows or nests within or on plants.

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One of the largest broods of 17-year cicadas will emerge from underground in a dozen states this spring. WerksMedia / Getty Images

By John Cooley and Chris Simon

A big event in the insect world is approaching. Starting sometime in April or May, depending on latitude, one of the largest broods of 17-year cicadas will emerge from underground in a dozen states, from New York west to Illinois and south into northern Georgia. This group is known as Brood X, as in the Roman numeral for 10.

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A 2017 study indicated that honeybees could be among the insects harmed by new RNAi pesticides. Claudio Cavalensi / Getty Images

By Kendra Klein

Biden's election has boosted hopes that scientific integrity will be restored in the federal government. To make good on that promise, the administration will need to take action to safeguard against the risks of an entirely new type of pesticide, one developed by genetic engineers rather than chemists.

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An Edith's Checkerspot butterfly in Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. Patricia Marroquin / Moment / Getty Images

Butterflies across the U.S. West are disappearing, and now researchers say the climate crisis is largely to blame.

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Producing avocado and almond crops is having a detrimental effect on bees. Molly Aaker / Getty Images

At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.

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Cacao trees, the source of cocoa beans and chocolate, are vulnerable. bedo / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By DeWayne Shoemaker

It's almost impossible to imagine a world without chocolate. Yet cacao trees, which are the source of chocolate, are vulnerable.

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Traffic noises can impair the ability of songbirds to learn skills, a new study finds. savoilic / iStock / Getty Images Plus

If you've ever had a hard time thinking when a noisy truck rattles by, you're not alone.

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A monarch butterfly is perched next to an adult caterpillar on a milkweed plant, the only plant the monarch will lay eggs on and the caterpillar will eat. Cathy Keifer / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

Fall used to be the time when millions of monarch butterflies in North America would journey upwards of 2,000 miles to warmer winter habitat.

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A Brood X cicada in 2004. Pmjacoby / CC BY-SA 3.0

Fifteen states are in for an unusually noisy spring.

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Pexels

By Daniel Raichel

Industry would have us believe that pesticides help sustain food production — a necessary chemical trade-off for keeping harmful bugs at bay and ensuring we have enough to eat. But the data often tell a different story—particularly in the case of neonicotinoid pesticides, also known as neonics.

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