In my back yard I have three bluebird houses and a Koi pond which over the years have brought my family and I countless hours of calm, natural serenity. Over the last few years however I have noticed a few disturbing trends including the total absence of frogs in my pond and few, if any bluebirds.

I wondered if this was a local phenomenon or something more global… According to Yale Environment 360, Over the years 1989-2014 entomologists set up insect traps over the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The results were astounding. The average biomass of insects caught in the traps between May and October declined from 1.6 kilograms in 1989 to 300 grams in 2014. This decline has been corroborated by studies from around the world. Bradford Lister, a biologist at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute has been studying insects and their populations in the rainforest of Puerto Rico since the mid 70’s. He discovered that the biomass measured in his traps decreased from Jan 1977- Jan 2013 to between 1/8 and 1/4.

The caus(es) of this near extinction have only been hypothesized thus far and include urban sprawl, climate chenge and the use of insecticides especially the neonicotinoid class since they are water soluble and are known to travel far beyond the field of application.