SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Bugs around the world are disappearing. A new study says toxic pesticides are crumbling our ecosystem, contributing to the decline of 41 percent of the world’s insect species.
In Davis, experts are working to help reverse this trend.
A study in the Journal of Biological Conservation says the widespread use of pesticides is one of the reasons insects are dying at such an alarming rate. Now, more farmers and home gardeners are looking for natural solutions.
Marrone Bio Innovations in Davis develops natural products to kill pests.
One of their targets is the Lygus bug, which is the worst pest for California Strawberries.
Dr. Pam Marrone’s team travels the world to find natural ingredients for the company’s products. One bacteria she shared was found from a garden near a Buddhist temple in Japan.
Recently Sacramento Farm Day was held at the State Capitol. Some of the vegetables on display proved you don’t need chemical pesticides to grow food. But still, some farmers insist chemicals work better and say they’ll continue to use them.
California’s Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross understands the argument for using chemicals but encourages farmers and home gardeners to go natural as much as possible.
“Sometimes it’s unpreventable to knock down a pest population but we clearly have many incentives and many reasons to use as many biological controls as we possibly can,” Ross said.
The study says climate change is one of the other reasons so many insects are now dying.