5 Pests That Benefit the Environment

Our world contains an immeasurable number of ecosystems that all somehow manage to coexist with one another. Humans often disrupt these ecosystems, forcing animals to take residence inside human-made structures, like your home. For most people, the presence of pesky animals, such as rodents, is an immediate reason to call your local pest control service. Yet, even the pests many homeowners choose to eliminate can serve a greater purpose in the grand scheme of things.

Although it may not be the best experience to have insects, rodents, and other pests in your home, some of these animals are quite helpful to the ecosystems they live in. While we don’t recommend living with pests, you may be curious about these common pests that benefit the environment.

what bugs are good for plants - ladybug

1. Spiders

Spiders often make the top of the typical list of “things most people are afraid of”. However, spiders are an essential piece of nearly every ecosystem. Did you know that spiders are highly effective predators that can easily keep the population of other insects in check? These 8-legged creatures can even benefit humans by preventing destructive pests from eating crops and other plant life. If you have insects roaming within your home, spiders could be keeping them in check too.

2. Rodents

When people think of rodents, they often picture mice and rats, but the rodent family includes various mammals that serve several useful roles in many ecosystems. One inadvertent way that rodents can be pests that benefit the environment is by acting as a food source to larger predators. Animals in nearly every category prey on rodents because they reproduce quickly and have few direct defense mechanisms.

Rodents also help stimulate the growth of flora within the environments they live in. One way they achieve this is by spreading seeds. While many of the seeds eaten by rodents get digested, some make it through their digestive tract and back into the soil. Rodents also gather seeds and store them in the ground, which occasionally leads to plant life springing from their food cache.

Rodents improve soil quality too. Animals like ground squirrels and gophers aerate the soil by digging burrows and tunnels in the ground. This digging turns over soil and helps mix fertilizers, like feces, into the earth’s deeper layers. Water can also pass through these tunnels. This irrigates plants throughout the area and encourages root growth.

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ants

3. Ants

Discovering a trail of ants making their way through your kitchen can be a shocking experience that leads most homeowners to set traps or call their local pest control service. Still, ants play a vital role in the environment. Ants are a definite addition to our list of pests that benefit the environment. Much like rodents, ants are an essential food source to many ecosystems, and they are critical contributors to soil quality.

Ants build their home by tunneling through the earth. In doing so, they aerate the soil and help both water and oxygen reach plants’ roots in the surrounding area. Ants also carry seeds into their underground nests, positioning them to sprout and grow new plants eventually.

4. Termites

Termites are known for their destructive ability, but these critters that cause homeowners significant grief are an essential part of many ecosystems. Like ants, termites are an indispensable food source in the ecosystems they are a part of. Furthermore, termites are one of nature’s most efficient recyclers, as they feed on the cellulose that is left behind by many types of dead plants.

After they eat, they produce a sticky secretion that helps prevent soil erosion and returns vital nutrients to the soil in areas where they live. Like many other animals on this list of pests that benefit the environment, termites also aerate the soil, making it easier for rainwater to flow into the ground where plants’ roots can access it. The mounds they live in even store moisture and nutrients that the plants around them can consume.

 

termites destroying wood
wasp nest under deck

5. Wasps

Just the word wasp is enough to strike fear into the hearts of some people, as these winged insects have stingers that they use to attack unsuspecting individuals. While wasps can pose a real threat to humans’ safety, they are pests that benefit the environment. Wasps help the environment by providing ecosystems with pollination, fertilization, and predation. The pollination part is simple; like bees, wasps carry pollen between plants, allowing them to complete their reproductive cycles.

In addition to pollinating plants, wasps contribute to the environment by preying on insects and small animals. This keeps the growth of other pests in check while ensuring that the wasps’ nests can thrive. On the fertilization side of their worldly contributions, wasps are known to carry yeast in their guts. According to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Florence, some wasps that feed on foods high in yeast will pass that yeast on to their offspring when they regurgitate their meals. The new generation takes the yeast back to the plants they feed on, helping fertilize them.

Eco-Friendly Pest Control With A-1 Bonded Termite

A gentle approach may be necessary when dealing with pests that benefit the environment. If you want to remove pests from your property without damaging to your local ecosystem, call the pest control experts at A-1 Bonded Termite!

We offer eco-friendly low impact solutions combined with IPM additives such as growth regulators, organic extracts, botanical, and natural pest-specific pathogens when possible. Call us at 714-502-9230 to schedule your inspection!.