Clear answers to critical questions.
Insect Respect does not always meet with approval or understanding. However, we always take critical questions seriously. Here, you will find answers to some frequently asked questions. Not convinced? We are all ears for your questions, and we look forward to your message.
A product with the quality label of Insect Respect will still eradicate insects. Is this ecologically correct?
Of course you cannot compensate the death of a living being, but you can try to compensate for it by returning nature habitat elsewhere - in the region - if possible. This is the solution Insect Respect seeks. Biologists have calculated on the basis of existing studies and experience, how many animals get killed by the different insect control products and how many animals (measured as "biomass") settle on green flat roofs. The calculation of the compensation includes also correction factors such as state of development, biodiversity and existing structures on the area. On this basis, Insect Respect creates semi-natural habitats with different substrates and structures such as stone and dead wood piles or small hills. So that will not replace the animal killed by biocides in the interior, but other insects benefit from the new habitats in previously sealed settlements. For example, from the greening of a flat roof at an insects compensation area such as the one in Gais, insects with a live-biomass of 47g/m2 can benefit and that will support the local biological diversity.
Insect Respct seeks to sensitise people towards the value of insects, but at the same time, the quality seals labels biocides to control insects. Is this not a serious contradiction?
We advocate the private use of biocides to selectively control harmful insects in houses. Insects are not beneficial in these places. On the contrary: they disturb, cause financial damage, and in some cases, may even also endanger human health. This means that sometimes they even have to be controlled. For this reason, a company such as Reckhaus, producing insecticides for more than 60 years, must also face up to the negative effects of its products. Like for many consumer products (such as detergent, soap, lamps and cars), the major environmental impact is induced in the utilisation phase. We are therefore committed to respectful handling of insects, and are the first company worldwide to offer "control-neutral" biocides.
The use of biocides is not the decisive cause for the decrease in populations and species of insects. Why do we even need Insect Respect?
With our efforts, we really are only able to make a small contribution. However, what's important to us is that producers take responsibility for the damage resulting from the use of their products, and compensate for the impacts on nature.
The toxic ingredients of biocides are also damaging to humans and nature. How can they be used for selective insect control without causing additional damage?
Insect Respect stands for insecticide free insect control, meaning without toxic ingredients. Products with the Insect Respect quality seal are intended for private use in residential and interior rooms, and not for use outdoors in nature. Targeted control means: Only if necessary, only indoor and whenever possible insecticide free.
Many insect populations are not even endangered because of their high reproduction rates. Why should we protect them anyways?
Because they all make important ecological contributions and we should not wait until their populations are already endangered. Any reduction, whether it involves mosquitoes, flies, cockroaches or others, is a loss for the ecosystem. The loss or reduction of insects has a direct influence on the pollination services and therefor on our nutrition. It also influences significantly the existence of other species because of the dependencies in food chains.
The natural habitats of insects are complex ecosystems. Are artificially created compensation areas even effective?
Insect Respect creates compensation in areas where more and more plant and animal habitats are disappearing: In residential and industrial areas. The greening of flat roofs creates secondary biotopes that represent new habitats for fauna and flora. Especially insects that live on increasingly disappearing poor grasslands and ruderal communities welcome the alternative. The compensation areas are not contaminated with pesticides. These areas also have less natural enemies. They provide better air, an attractive appearance of the urban landscape, and a stronger awareness of nature in people.
Avoid, reduce, and only then compensate: Can this principle known from CO2 projects be find in the Insect Respect concept?
Control neutral insecticides do not represent a license to use them carelessly. The goal of Insect Respect is to provoke rethinking and a change in behaviour in dealing with insects. For this reason, Insect Respect also offers lots of information about the insects, and demonstrates various harmless preventative options, so that biocides are not even required in the first place.
Insect Respect dealed with insect hits, i.e., with insects killed by road and railway traffic. Is this not going too far?
In no case, if one considers that more than 4'000 insects are killed on a windshield over a distance of only 100 kilometres. This was demonstrated by an investigation performed on behalf of Insect Respect. It is our mission to sensitise towards respectful handling of insects and nature, and to create possibilities to compensate for the unavoidable damages.
Would it not be more sensible to protect or remediate existing endangered ecosystems, where the majority of the insects live as a natural component in a functioning cycle?
The impacts on natural ecosystems by human, especially industrial overexploitation are indeed alarming, and call for a rethinking and a reorientation of our actions. However, the focus of Insect Respect lies elsewhere: The mark of quality aims to create new green spaces and therefore more awareness for the importance of insects in the natural cycle, in the main areas where biocides are used: in residential areas.
In principle, every ecologically-oriented garden and each natural piece of ground is an insect compensation area. Does the Insect Respect concept 'carry coals to Newcastle' with this idea?
Indeed, every area that people leave untouched is an important wildlife habitat. That is what Insect Respect is showing with different awareness raising actions. In addition, Insect Respect wants to return supplementary habitats to insects on places, where biodiversity is normally decimated strongly, for example on sealed surfaces in urban areas. On the compensation areas, the insects have hardly any contact with environmental toxins and people. The compensation areas will increase the local biodiversity and connect to other green spaces (stepping stones) by their corridor function. For insects the roof offers fewer predators and thus well-protected food, hiding and overwintering possibilities due to its elevated position. In turn, they have a positive effect on their environment: The flying insects pollinate plants and crawling insects promote soil growth.
To learn more about what Insect Respect has accomplished in 2016/17 download the "Insect Respect Activities Report" (pdf, download)