You’ve likely heard the warning that killing bugs causes more harm than good. But is that actually true? We checked in with some local experts to get the lowdown on this battle between the good bugs and the bad. Here are some tips from Levi and Talis Brody, owners of Brody Brothers Pest Control, offering some new perspective on the natural world.

The Good Bugs

The list of good insects stretches on and on. Of course, there’s bees. There are the pretty butterflies and ladybugs, the otherworldly mantises, and the sometimes spooky spiders. All of them play a part in maintaining order in nature.

Our planet relies on insects for many reasons, the most obvious being pollination. Without pollinating insects, we wouldn’t be able to grow many of the fruits and vegetables we eat every day.

Good bugs also keep things in check by feeding on invasive plants and weeds and breaking down waste like dead plants and animals. Insects aren’t just consumers; they become the food for other creatures, big and small. And so the food cycle continues!

You may not be ready to take a bite out of a grasshopper taco just yet, but you should think twice before killing the next crawling, slithering, hopping, or flying bug that crosses your path.

Good Bugs vs. Bad Bugs - (cool) progeny

The Bad Bugs

All that said, the Brody Brothers confirmed our suspicion that there are some insects that cause more harm than good.

Mosquitoes are not just a nuisance at a summer cookout. The Anopheles mosquito kills hundreds of thousands of people each year, mostly in Africa. While you don’t need to be concerned about contracting malaria from a mosquito bite in the United States, the world wouldn’t miss this mosquito if it went extinct.

Parents dread the email from the school nurse and the tell-tale head scratching that come with a lice outbreak at school. While head lice are a nuisance, they do not cause disease like the more troublesome body lice. Body lice have been known to kill more soldiers at war than the actual enemy, landing them their spot in the Brody Brother’s top three bad bugs.

And, finally, it goes without saying that no one is campaigning to save the bed bugs. Bed bugs are not known to cause disease, but the Brody Brothers are confident that no one would miss them if they were gone. We’re no experts, but we have to agree on that one.

Finding Balance

So should we all live together peacefully? That might not always be realistic. But before you consider packing up and moving because you’ve seen one too many spider crickets in your basement, consider safe ways to address pest management.

As Levi Brody describes it, “Most pests to humans are caused by imbalance. IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, is not conventional pest control; it’s a holistic approach to solving pest issues by creating an environment that’s suitable for humans and nature, but not for misplaced pests.”

Good Bugs vs. Bad Bugs - (cool) progeny

About Our Sponsor

Brody Brothers Pest Control has been servicing Baltimore’s pest control needs for over 30 years! Instead of do it yourself pest control, they provide professional, safe and effective pest control to your home and family. Now in its second generation of pest control specialists, Brody Brothers has grown into one of the best pest control companies around the Greater Baltimore Area.

Their pest control methodology is simple. They use only the most effective pest control methods to keep your home and family pest free. They adhere to all EPA guidelines in using environmentally-sensitive, high quality products and are dedicated to the humane treatment of animals.


Photos by Laura Black.