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# Insects killed by car and the impact on natures balance

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posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:33 AM
We all know it, driving along the highway, watching bug after bug getting squashed on the windshield.

Its happening allover the world as we speak, and in great numbers.
But how big are those numbers and does it have an impact on natures balance in the future.

Well! As with allmost everything out there, someone decided to count the number of bug roadkill's, and the numbers are pretty large.

Last May, Dutch biologist Arnold van Vliet embarked on a bold and buggy mission to count how many insects are killed by cars -- and six weeks later, the results are in. To perform the census of bug vs. car fatalities, the researcher enlisted the help of around 250 drivers to count the number of squashed insects on their front licence plates per distance travelled. After some simple math, van Vliet has arrived at a figure that is nothing short of astronomical.

All told, over the course of six weeks and 19,184 miles of travel, the smooshed bodies of no less than 17,836 insects were discovered -- on the cars' front licence plates alone. That averages to two insects killed (in that particular area of the vehicle) for every 6.2 miles traveled.

In 2007, over 7 million cars [in the Netherlands] traveled about 200 billion kilometers. If we assume for simplicity that every month the average is the same for all cars, then 16.7 billion kilometers are traveled a month. In just the licence plates, 3.3 billion bugs are killed per month. The front of the car is at least forty times as large as the surface of the plate. This means that cars hit around 133 billion insects every month. In half a year, that is 800 billion insects. This is significantly more than we had estimated six weeks ago.

For fun, I'll work through van Vliet's formula with US driving statistics. With 200 million cars in the US, driven an average of 12,500 miles per year, the entire nation travels approximately 2.5 trillion miles annually, and kills around 32.5 trillion insects in the process!

www.treehugger.com...

That is some huge numbers, but as we all know insects are everywhere, and can be very annoying, but is natures balance impacted by these numbers and is there enough food for insect eating animals as lizard and bird's, plus the reproductsion of insect in the future, will it decline slowly, so in the end animals will die out simply cause the food for them is nowhere.

You have to count in the number of insects killed by spraying pesticides and the occasionel bug you step on cause it annoys you, plus the insect killing spray in private homes and business.

What do you think?

A little sample of how we react to insects.

edit on 29-9-2011 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:47 AM
Teenage boys kill more sperm than this every day. We do not have a shortage of sperm yet though.

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:49 AM
The other day I was cleaning out an old shed of some nasty old carpet and at the end of the job I noticed a couple of just-born mice had been living in the carpet. Who knows how many were destroyed during the job.

There are also dozens of frogs and snakes in the yard. When I mow I imagine at least a couple get caught up under the tractor.

Every step you take you might just be killing something. Simply existing is contributing to the death of something else. As "green" and "non-intrusive/invasive" as possible and your existence is still resulting in the death of something else.

That's life.

Rest assured that your decaying corpse will be the source of life for plenty of microorganisms and larger as the circle keeps on rolling.
edit on 29-9-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:51 AM
If we devoted all of our resources and wheeled vehicles to the task of killing off insect life completely, I believe it would be an utter failure.

If we want to save insects, maybe we should start shooting bats and birds. (No flames please, remark was tongue in cheek)

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:53 AM

Every step you take you might just be killing something. Simply existing is contributing to the death of something else. As "green" and "non-intrusive/invasive" as possible and your existence is still resulting in the death of something else.
Good point.

Environmentalists rail against all the earth that we pave over, but every step that we take on pavement vs grass saves uncounted insect lives.

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:55 AM
Dont worry natural selection will ensure soon enough that the only bugs left alive will be the ones that use the pavement!

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:55 AM

Originally posted by GalacticJoe
Teenage boys kill more sperm than this every day. We do not have a shortage of sperm yet though.
I think teenage girls have a lot to do with sperm killing too.

Let's not let them off the hook completely.

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 07:55 AM

You totally missed the point, because life did not plan to kill, by what is happening today, everything have a meaning on earth, for example food, so the question was the way we kill with no meaning at all.

And my decaying body will not be eaten by micro organisme, cause most poeple get burned today

edit on 29-9-2011 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-9-2011 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:00 AM

Sure, there's a meaning. Transportation. Bugs on a windshield are like the bugs and flora we crush stepping or setting up shelter or just setting our packs down on the grass.

Something I tell every enviro-nut who comes out with some rant about overpopulation or technological horrors or whatever is that if nature has had enough of us it will take us out. We'll either starve or suffer a pandemic or whatever.

If the bugs die off too fast and so in turn does every other animal in the chain we will no doubt begin to starve in massive waves. Eventually we will die off to such a point that the food chain can once again stabilize itself and if there are any of us left we'll just go right back to doing what we do.

Nature is a hell of a lit bigger than you. It's a hell of a lot bigger than a million bugs on a windshield or even 7 billion human beings. It will take care of itself.

Ashes still have nutritional value as fertilizers.
edit on 29-9-2011 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:06 AM

No mention of how many humans are killed by insect-borne illnesses.

Our world would be very different without the use of insecticides ( some of which are natural ).

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:07 AM
Literally everything in nature and everything that comes from it, (everthing man made, created in a lab, plastics, etc. still traces back to nature at its origins. ) affects the balance of everthing else. This is where evolution and adaptation comes into play. All life evolves and adapts or dies off. It has been this way since the beginning of life itself. Nature doesn't really care about the status quo, only humans do. Species die off and spring up every day. Nature itself always
survives in one form or another.

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:10 AM

Originally posted by butcherguy

No mention of how many humans are killed by insect-borne illnesses.

Our world would be very different without the use of insecticides ( some of which are natural ).

Yup. 117,704 reported deaths from just malaria in 2009.

What's the impact/value ratio for mosquitoes versus humans?

Maybe every human should carry a little ticker with them and once that ticker reaches some set number of dead insects the government should come by and execute that human for reaching his "death quota."

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:14 AM

That contributed absolutly nothing to the topic at all, but derailed it nicely. Enjoy your stars for being funny, again i must say that ATS is becoming lame on this matter.

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:18 AM

Ashes have no nutrial effect and can not be used as fertilizer, it does add a PH value to soil which is good for allmost any plants.

edit on 29-9-2011 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:29 AM

Originally posted by Mianeye

Ashes have no nutrial effect and can not be used as fertilizer, it does add a PH value to soil which is good for allmost any plants.

edit on 29-9-2011 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)
Really?

Wood Ashes (WA) at one time was an important source of Potassium in farming and horticulture. Now that there are much better sources of Potassium, WA has been relegated to the home organic garden as an organic fertilizer. WA contains between 4-10% Potassium, 2% Phosphorus, 25-50% Calcium, 1-3% magnesium and trace amounts of sulfur.

Wood ashes organic fertilizer

Field and greenhouse research have confirmed the safety and practicality of recycling wood ash on agricultural lands. It has shown that wood ash has a liming effect of between 8 and 90% of the total neutralizing power of lime and can increase plant growth up to 45% over traditional limestone.

Clemson.edu

I think ash can be a good fertilizer, from my experience usin it.

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:39 AM

People forget that the Honeybee is vital to our agriculture and they are dying off.
The pesticides used are suspect as well as cell phone towers interfering with their homing system.

Once they are gone, they give us about 4 years before we too are done for.
Remember that our cattle and livestock eat vegetables and grain....

Not sure if its a Native American thing but we were always told to allow Spiders to live because they eat other insects/pests and as to why they exist in nature.

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:40 AM

You are right, and i was wrong.
Missunderstood his comment, thinking ash alone was used as fertilizer, it does add some nutrision to soil as you just described in your post...My bad

This is wood ash, there is no data on human ash.

www.weekendgardener.net...

Wood ash does have some fertilizer value, the amount varying somewhat with the species of wood being used. Generally, wood ash contains less than 10 percent potash, 1 percent phosphate and trace amounts of micro-nutrients such as iron, manganese, boron, copper and zinc.

edit on 29-9-2011 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-9-2011 by Mianeye because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:53 AM

Here is some info on the chemical composition of human cremation ash:

Cremated remains are mostly dry calcium phosphates with some minor minerals, such as salts of sodium and potassium. Sulfur and most carbon are driven off as oxidized gases during the process, although a relatively small amount of carbon may remain as carbonate.

Wikipedia- Cremation

Surprisingly, not a lot of difference from wood ash.

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 08:53 AM
And animals keep dying on the roads by millions ..
some will go instinct because of all the cars running through their territory
it sadden me each time i see an animal mutilated and roting on the road
soon our forest will only have insects
its totaly UNbalanced

posted on Sep, 29 2011 @ 09:03 AM

Good one, thank you.
And of course Wiki

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