Tiny insect friends and foes make a hearty meal out of their work

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 January, 2000, 12:00am

Apart from the millennium bug, many living insects are a nui sance to humans.

Some harm crops and carry plant diseases while others feed on human blood and pass on diseases.

But not all bugs are harmful, some serve as food for fish and other animals, while others at tack weeds and help farmers.

Some bugs invade human homes. Bedbugs mainly feed on human blood but they are also parasites to bats and birds.

They feed mostly at night and their bodies turn red after a blood meal.

The smelly squash bug pro duces a nasty smell from its scent glands. It is found on farms and feeds on cereals, causing great damage to farm ers. These bugs release a nasty smell to repel enemies.

Some insects are useful. The eggs of aquatic bugs in Latin America can be made into cake when dried. It is delicious and nutritious.

Some insects benefit corn farmers. The pirate bug eats corn earworm eggs. These bugs are sold in the agricultural mar kets as biological controllers.

Damsel bugs also help farm ers as they eat caterpillars and aphids that feed on farm crops.

WWF HK is a local charity environmental organisation established in 1981 which aims to build a future in which people can live in harmony with nature. For information, call 2526- 1011 or the Web site at http://www.wwf.org.hk