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Stern warning not to kill flies and wasps coming into your house this summer

It’s no secret that as we begin opening our windows during the warmer months, all manner of critters may enter. But now the public has been urged not to kill any flying insects this summer.

We may actually see fewer flying insects this summer, so it may be a good idea not to kill them - even if they’re driving you potty. It’s because flying insect numbers have plummeted by 60 per cent over the last 20 years, according to a new study , reports YorkshireLive.

Conservation charities Buglife and the Kent Wildlife Trust asked members of the public to count the number of insects splatted against their vehicle number plates, reports The Natural History Museum, and compared it to a similar study from 2004. They found that counts were down the most in England, where 65 per cent fewer insects were recorded, and the least in Scotland, which recorded a 28 per cent fall.

Flying insects are not to be killed this summer

2021 John Keeble Flying insects are not to be killed this summer

Paul Hadaway, the director of conservation at Kent Wildlife Trust, said: "The results from the Bugs Matter study should shock and concern us all. We are seeing declines in insects, which reflect the enormous threats and loss of wildlife more broadly across the country.

"These declines are happening at an alarming rate and without concerted action to address them we face a stark future. Insects and pollinators are fundamental to the health of our environment and rural economies.

"'We need action for all our wildlife now by creating more and bigger areas of habitats, providing corridors through the landscape for wildlife and allowing nature space to recover."

People online have in the past shared their techniques for killing flying bugs at home including traps, electric rackets and sticky fly paper, or sicking their cats on them. But in the face of such startling figures, the best bet might be to shoo flies and wasps back outside rather than kill them.

The Natural History Museum goes on to paint quite the grim picture of how badly our world will be affected if we carry on seeing insect numbers dropping: "The decline in insects affects all the major groups. In the next few decades, as many as 40 per cent of the world's species could become extinct, including bees, ants and butterflies.

"These insects represent some of the most significant pollinators of plants. While plants are pollinated in many different ways, insect-pollinated crop plants such as apples, pears, cucumbers, watermelons and almonds, will become significantly less productive without pollinators, and could fail altogether.

"The impact of insect loss goes far beyond our food supplies, however, as animals such as birds which depend on them for food will also be hit."

Rather than killing bugs, you could set up an insect house in your garden, and stick to real grass rather than astro turf. Other tips include mowing the lawn less regularly (as longer grass provides a home for more insects), and creating log piles for beetles to chow down on.

Reference: My London: Alex Evans & Rafi Mauro-Benady

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