What are the known causes
of insect extinction?

Where is there still room for biodiversity today?

Insects play an important role in our ecosystem:

Through pollination

Insects play a crucial role in the pollination of plants, which is essential for reproduction and the preservation of plant diversity. The decline of pollinators such as bees and butterflies affects the fertility of plants and the production of fruit, vegetables and other crops.

They are the basis of important food chains

Insects form the basis of food chains in ecosystems. When insect populations decline, other animal species are impacted, whether they feed on insects directly or reply on the plants that insects pollinate. A decline in insect numbers can lead to an imbalance in food supplies and have a detrimental impact on biodiversity.

Beneficial insects control pests (like harmful insects) and create balance

Many insect species are natural predators of pests that can affect plants or crops. If these natural enemies are decimated by insect mortality, the risk of pest infestation and the need to use chemical pesticides increases, which, in turn, can have further negative effects on the environment.

Insects maintain soil quality

Insects also play an important role in the decomposition and transformation of organic material in the soil. Through their activity, insects contribute to soil aeration and fertility. If the number and diversity of soil insects decrease, soil quality and agricultural output suffer in the long term.

The extinction of insects has far-reaching consequences for ecological balance. Therefore, it is of great importance that we take measures to protect insects and their habitats in order to restore and maintain the functionality of the ecosystem in the long term.

These causes lead to insect extinction:

Habitat loss

Intensive agriculture has changed the landscape resulting in the loss of many natural habitats for insects. Monocultures, the use of pesticides and the lack of plant diversity reduce the food sources and suitable habitats for insects. In addition, construction of industrial areas, private houses and roads are paving over more and more natural areas!


The use of pesticides in agriculture and gardening has a serious impact on insect populations. Insecticides kill not only harmful insects, but also beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies. In addition, pesticides can have long-term harmful effects on the reproduction and survival of insects.


Light pollution

The excessive lighting of cities and streets is leading to an increased mortality rate among night-active insects. They are attracted to artificial light and lose their orientation as a result. This has negative consequences for their reproduction, foraging and ultimately for the survival of their populations.

Climate change

Climate change also has a negative impact on insects, which have adapted to their environment over millions of years. Changes in temperature and unusual weather conditions can disrupt the life rhythms of insects and affect their food sources leading to reduced reproduction and a shift in insect populations.


Dead private gardens

In Germany, private gardens cover around 3 percent of the country’s land area. Every year, people spread a few hundred tons of pesticides to get rid of annoying „weeds“ or to protect fruit. Due to this toxic treatment and the often sterile result, many gardens offer only limited habitats for insects. Yet they could serve as valuable refuges for biodiversity in our highly impoverished cultural landscape.


Electromagnetic fields

The rapid expansion of mobile phone networks and the increased use of wireless technology has led to increased electromagnetic field exposure for insects. Studies have shown that these fields can have harmful effects on the orientation, navigation and reproductive ability of insects. Pollinators such as bees are particularly affected as they rely on their senses to find nectar and pollinate plants.



You can find detailed information on insect mortality on the following websites of BUND, Nabu, Umweltinstitut München and the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. We also recommend the insect atlas of the Heinrich Böll Foundation with 50 pages and 80 interesting graphics.


Umweltinstitut München e.V.