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Trillions of Insects Killed by Cars Every Year Says Study
TREEHUGGER.com ^ | July 10, 2011 | Stephen Messenger

Posted on 07/13/2011 7:06:34 PM PDT by nascarnation

Last May, Dutch biologist Arnold van Vliet embarked on a bold and buggy mission to count how many insects are killed by cars -- and six weeks later, the results are in. To perform the census of bug vs. car fatalities, the researcher enlisted the help of around 250 drivers to count the number of squashed insects on their front licence plates per distance travelled. After some simple math, van Vliet has arrived at a figure that is nothing short of astronomical.

With the help of volunteer squished-insect-counters submitting data to a web site devoted to the dead bug census, SplashTeller, biologists have learned a bit more about how deadly driving can be. All told, over the course of six weeks and 19,184 miles of travel, the smooshed bodies of no less than 17,836 insects were discovered -- on the cars' front licence plates alone. That averages to two insects killed (in that particular area of the vehicle) for every 6.2 miles traveled.

While the lives of a couple of bugs may not seem like much, van Vliet is quick to point out that all those little deaths really add up -- to nearly a trillion insect fatalities caused by cars every six months in the Netherlands alone.

In 2007, over 7 million cars [in the Netherlands] traveled about 200 billion kilometers. If we assume for simplicity that every month the average is the same for all cars, then 16.7 billion kilometers are traveled a month. In just the licence plates, 3.3 billion bugs are killed per month. The front of the car is at least forty times as large as the surface of the plate. This means that cars hit around 133 billion insects every month. In half a year, that is 800 billion insects. This is significantly more than we had estimated six weeks ago.

A similar bug-survey conducted in the UK found about the same average of insects killed by cars per distance traveled, so it could be said the rate could be applied elsewhere as well -- which could have grave implications for insects in the United States. For fun, I'll work through van Vliet's formula with US driving statistics.

With 200 million cars in the US, driven an average of 12,500 miles per year, the entire nation travels approximately 2.5 trillion miles annually, and kills around 32.5 trillion insects in the process!


TOPICS: Humor; Outdoors
KEYWORDS: automobiles; insects
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I demand that the Baraqqi Administration do something about this immediately.
1 posted on 07/13/2011 7:06:44 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: nascarnation

OMG!! The horror, the horror. All those poor ... oh well, never mind.


2 posted on 07/13/2011 7:07:37 PM PDT by SkyDancer (You know, they invented wheelbarrows to teach FAA inspectors to walk on their hind legs.)
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To: nascarnation

Dear Fellow Mammals and other non insect species: You are WELCOME!!!

One more proof of the positive impact humanity and technology are having on this planet

This shows how we can do organic killing of insects without pesticides.


3 posted on 07/13/2011 7:08:50 PM PDT by SoftwareEngineer
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To: nascarnation

It’s time Congress passed legislation to tend to this carnage, in the name of helping the children (larva, that is).


4 posted on 07/13/2011 7:09:19 PM PDT by choctaw man (Good ole Andrew Jackson, or You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma...)
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To: nascarnation

“Trillions of Insects Killed by Cars Every Year Says Study”

And it’s a darn good thing.


5 posted on 07/13/2011 7:09:46 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: SoftwareEngineer

organic killing

LMAO


6 posted on 07/13/2011 7:09:46 PM PDT by nascarnation
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To: nascarnation

I demand a RECOUNT !


7 posted on 07/13/2011 7:10:41 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: nascarnation

Yep tonight a lightning bug hit my windshield. His light went out.


8 posted on 07/13/2011 7:10:44 PM PDT by EmilyGeiger
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To: nascarnation

Drive faster! Drive more miles! We need to exterminate the mosquitoes!


9 posted on 07/13/2011 7:11:07 PM PDT by MIchaelTArchangel
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To: nascarnation

yer kidden me, right?

I wanna see the writeup that got this study funded!


10 posted on 07/13/2011 7:11:37 PM PDT by G Larry (I dream of a day when a man is judged by the content of his character)
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To: nascarnation

I hate bugs and would rather see that ratio at 10 to 20 bugs killed per mile, but oh well.


11 posted on 07/13/2011 7:11:46 PM PDT by lahargis
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To: nascarnation
Trillions of Insects Killed by Cars Every Year Says Study every time I drive across Mississippi.
12 posted on 07/13/2011 7:12:14 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: nascarnation

OMG! It’s pesticide!


13 posted on 07/13/2011 7:13:39 PM PDT by Winstons Julia (when liberals rant, it's called free speech; when conservatives vent, it's called hate speech.)
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To: Pan_Yan

What I want to know is how many cars are killed by deers every year. Can I get a grant to find out?


14 posted on 07/13/2011 7:14:09 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lame and ill-informed post)
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To: Winstons Julia

You win.


15 posted on 07/13/2011 7:14:10 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: nascarnation

Heartbreaking. Shame they don’t show this much angst over the unborn humans.

I am guilty of squishing a few junebugs tonight. Oh, the horror.


16 posted on 07/13/2011 7:15:04 PM PDT by dforest
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To: nascarnation

And that’s why the windshield in my big, gas guzzeling, Toyota Highlander is nearly opaque. So be it. If the little suckers are dumb enough to get in my way, they deserve a quick death. Windex solves that problem.


17 posted on 07/13/2011 7:16:08 PM PDT by Rushmore Rocks
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To: nascarnation

Start new department to regulate human driving cars on road.
Justice department should start civil courts and punish car drivers and should protect insects rights.


18 posted on 07/13/2011 7:17:59 PM PDT by jennychase
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To: nascarnation

19 posted on 07/13/2011 7:19:54 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: nascarnation

Along the same lines, there is a tremendous amount of squirrels and chipmunks killed by cars. I constantly see their dead bodies in the roadways along with the occasional skunk or rabbit.


20 posted on 07/13/2011 7:20:35 PM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: nascarnation

Huh? I figure I hit a trillion love bugs with my windshield alone every September.


21 posted on 07/13/2011 7:22:21 PM PDT by catfish1957 (Hey algore...You'll have to pry the steering wheel of my 317 HP V8 truck from my cold dead hands)
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To: nascarnation

Some days you’re the windshield, some days you’re the bug.


22 posted on 07/13/2011 7:23:49 PM PDT by Paladin2
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To: nascarnation

do we get any carbon credits for killing bugs?


23 posted on 07/13/2011 7:26:27 PM PDT by Redmen4ever
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To: nascarnation

And airplanes. They ain’t called “bug smashers” for nuttin’!


24 posted on 07/13/2011 7:30:07 PM PDT by CodeToad (Islam needs to be banned in the US and treated as a criminal enterprise.)
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To: nascarnation

Death is everywhere
There are flies on the windscreen
For a start
Reminding us
We could be torn apart
Tonight


25 posted on 07/13/2011 7:30:48 PM PDT by null and void (Day 904. When your only tools are a Hammer & Sickle, everything looks like a Capitalist...)
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To: nascarnation

That’s not news. I kill billions a year myself.


26 posted on 07/13/2011 7:31:15 PM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: nascarnation

PAGEing mosquito net moguls Bill and Amanda (?) Gates.


27 posted on 07/13/2011 7:31:38 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: nascarnation

Arnold van Vliet, I care how? =.=


28 posted on 07/13/2011 7:36:10 PM PDT by cranked
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To: EmilyGeiger

I hit something tonight also, not sure what it was, but it was big and well splattered and I thought “Bet he won’t have the guts to do that again.”


29 posted on 07/13/2011 7:38:21 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (When you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras.)
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To: nascarnation

30 posted on 07/13/2011 7:38:25 PM PDT by Bratch
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To: nascarnation

Fortunately there are no flying cows.


31 posted on 07/13/2011 7:41:34 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Choot him, Elizabeth!)
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To: nascarnation
Insects emit CO2. We're saving the earth.

You're welcome.

32 posted on 07/13/2011 7:43:47 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: steelyourfaith

Ping.


33 posted on 07/13/2011 7:43:52 PM PDT by Army Air Corps (Four fried chickens and a coke)
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To: Kirkwood

34 posted on 07/13/2011 7:44:31 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: nascarnation

Humm I actually hadn’t noticed a real lack of bugs. Plenty of flies, gnats, mosquitos, etc. around here.


35 posted on 07/13/2011 7:45:40 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: nascarnation

They should stay out of the road.


36 posted on 07/13/2011 7:46:38 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Public employee unions are the barbarian hordes of our time.)
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To: nascarnation

Obviously, this person has too much time on his hands and does not have a real job which would preclude him from pursuing such nonsense. A high level government scientist or grantee?


37 posted on 07/13/2011 7:47:48 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
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To: SkyDancer

It’s a HOLOCAUST, I tell you!
And he wasn’t even counting the ones run over on the roadway!


38 posted on 07/13/2011 7:47:48 PM PDT by supremedoctrine ("uncurtaining the night,I'd let dark glass/hang all the furniture above the grass." -Nabokov)
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To: Psycho_Bunny

An insect crossing sign? Slow insects playing sign? Caution, low flying insects sign?


39 posted on 07/13/2011 7:50:07 PM PDT by RetiredTexasVet (There's a pill for just about everything ... except stupid!)
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To: supremedoctrine

What about the ones killed by bug zappers? Did he count those?


40 posted on 07/13/2011 7:53:37 PM PDT by lahargis
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To: nascarnation

My cats like to eat any bug that gets into the my house. Guess I better tell them to stop.


41 posted on 07/13/2011 7:55:05 PM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: supremedoctrine

Ever notice that Holocaust is a conjunction of Ho and Locust? I wonder...maybe there was some intuition there..


42 posted on 07/13/2011 7:55:12 PM PDT by vetvetdoug
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To: Pan_Yan

Especially if it’s love bug season.


43 posted on 07/13/2011 7:57:44 PM PDT by rightly_dividing
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To: rightly_dividing

Isn’t that good???? Trillions fewer trying to crawl in my eyes and ears or biting me. If these econuts weren’t killing so many beloved birds with their wacky windmills, maybe the birds would eat some of them.


44 posted on 07/13/2011 7:59:34 PM PDT by hal ogen
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To: hal ogen
I believe that the only predator of love bugs is the automobile.
45 posted on 07/13/2011 8:03:46 PM PDT by rightly_dividing
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To: nascarnation

Who cares?


46 posted on 07/13/2011 8:03:57 PM PDT by sport
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To: nascarnation

This just counts the ones they can find. How many times do you hear the little critters hitting the windshield, but they just crunch and don’t splat. Those guys end up on the side of the road.

This means they are disenfranchised. We need a law to make sure that ALL of the dead bugs are counted. A law, I tell ya.... I think we should appropriate a few million to study the impact and report back in a couple of years. I have just the guy to manage this project. And you are lookin’ at him.


47 posted on 07/13/2011 8:04:46 PM PDT by Vermont Lt
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To: rightly_dividing

Well, then, I guess nobama will require all FLA residents to buy Volts (aka: Dolts) to drive around continuously, thereby, killing the little buggers.


48 posted on 07/13/2011 8:08:48 PM PDT by hal ogen
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To: nascarnation

Great, imagine how many of the little ba*****s we would have if it wasn’t for cars. Why doesn’t this idiot do research on how many mammals, such as deer, die each year due to cars hitting them. I am sure insects, and deer, will both survive the onslaught of American cars.


49 posted on 07/13/2011 8:10:29 PM PDT by calex59
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To: nascarnation
"I'll just give this car a karate stance"......
50 posted on 07/13/2011 8:10:53 PM PDT by Route395
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