I think we can all agree that for the most part insects are pretty annoying. And I certainly never think of them as good or my health. Odd thing is, some of the insects we hate the most are the ones that also help us the most, specifically when it comes to our health. Well, you may just gain a little soft spot in your heart for some of these seemingly beastly creatures when you learn how much they contribute to our health and well-being. Here are some insects you probably aren’t too fond of that might melt your heart a little once you see the beauty in the beast.
The common housefly is no doubt one of the most detested insects we have to deal with in our daily lives. They eat garbage and decaying matter, including feces, meaning they carry around some pretty nasty pathogens that can be transmitted to humans, which would no doubt prove to be very unpleasant and sometimes fatal. However, while they may be better known for making people sick, they are also helping scientists learn more about human illness and how to make us immune to those same pathogens we fear they will spread. A team of researchers was able to pinpoint the genes that make houseflies immune to those many pathogens they carry.
Bees may be a happy yellow color, but whenever I see one, I run, thinking only of avoiding their painful sting. Now, they are not nearly as hated as the housefly – probably because they make delicious honey, which kind of evens the scales of fear versus appreciation when it comes to bees. But, what you don’t know is that they’ve contributed to the possible elimination of one of our more serious health issues that has devastated humans for years. Researchers recently discovered a toxin in bee venom called melittin that scientists believe could completely destroy the human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV. Now if that isn’t an amazing contribution to medicine, I don’t know what is.
The next time you see one of those insects that you just can’t stand, consider what they might also be giving back to us humans. I guess you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Even the worst beasties can be beautiful in some way.
Do you know any other insects that are widely hated, but have actually made an important contribution to the betterment of human life?