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Leaf blowers are fatal to insects and should not be used unless absolutely necessary, the German government has told citizens, days after a disturbing new report warned than an ongoing “insect armageddon” threatens all life on Earth.
A report from a top UK ecologist, published last week, warned bugs are dying out eight times faster than larger animals, with 40 per cent of the roughly one million known insect species facing extinction as a result.
“If insect declines are not halted, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems will collapse, with profound consequences for human wellbeing,” Professor Dave Goulson’s report for the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust concluded.
The dangers posed by leaf blowers hinted at a larger trend that could be harming insect populations, according to Dr Edward Turner, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s zoology department and curator of insects at the university’s zoology museum.
“I think that leaf blowers fall into the category of being ‘too tidy’ and this can be very bad for insects,” Dr Turner told The Independent.
“Really importantly … We should limit our use of herbicides and insecticides to an absolute minimum, especially in our urban green spaces and gardens.
“Basically, I think we just need to be a little less tidy and a little more tolerant of ‘weeds’ and I think insects and therefore lots of other species would benefit.”