Buzzing in your ear, crawling over your skin, coiled in your boot or lying drunken in a woozy cloud of rotten apples. It takes a particular personality to appreciate the virtues of our six and eight-legged neighbours.
Invertebrates; the be-fanged, haired, spiked or suckered beasties, are the making of horror films and the base of a multi-million pound extermination industry. Between 2006 and 2007, for example the equivalent of £6,940,276,000 of insecticides was poured over crops around the world (EPA, 2011).
But in the natural world everything has a purpose. We may delight in ridding these “nasties” from our lives but if one takes a little time to regard their antics, it soon becomes abundantly clear how dependent we are on this most unlikely of workforces.