What would happen if all insects on earth were suddenly possesed by a malevolent consciousness bent on eradicating humanity. Insects gain no new capabilities, nor do they suddenly hivemind, but they do start working together to kill humans, even among species that normally prey on each other. Our insectoid antagonists are no smarter than an ordinary insect and won't be pulling any bullshit like poisoning wells or stealing the launch codes.
Assuming humanity survives, what would earth look like in ten years? Fifty? A century? How would we defend ourselves? How would we win the war? Could we win it?
To balance the scales, what if we make spiders loyal to humans? Protip: Spiders are not insects, but solifugids are not spiders. We'll leave crabs and seagoing arthropods out of the scenario for now.
I don't think that we'd lose, but it's a war we cannot win. Eradicating the world's stinging and biting insects would either cause massive ecological damage or to accomplish that feat would require massive ecological damage. Flowering plants use flying insects for almost all their pollination. Trees are flowering plants. And how are you going to destroy every ant colony without poisoning the whole world? And insect populations acquire pesticide resistance very quickly because of their short generations. The difference between it being an annoyance and a scourge would depend on the specifics of the behavior of the aggressive insects though.
> poisoning the whole world
Exactly, this isn't a "would we survive?" thread. Of course we'd survive, we're humans. I'm more interested in what our survival would make of this world.
I feel like people are forgetting just how big the insect population is, and just how much insects actually tend to leave us alone/stay out of our way on a regular basis. In the time it takes to crush or swat a large swarm of insects you'd still be covered in more insects than you'd killed. Remember, take a look around the room you're in right now. Look at all your exits. There are enough bugs on earth that even evenly distributed across the surface of the earth, your localized portion of the world's bug population could cover every surface you see in bugs and then some. Assuming they go on breeding the same way they normally would and don't go full retard and blitzkreig us, we're absolutely screwed. There's not enough efficient weaponry for our infrastructure to not collapse before we can effectively arm ourselves. Sure some (sub)urban survival nuts would be okay at the outset but then everyone else would be fucked and when the humans maintaining various means of communication all die or get locked into a closet to starve all chances of a united defense would crash. That'd leave only small pockets of people barely capable of survival running around with a dwindling ammount of available resources. That is assuming the insects have any mix of tactics and basic instinct left. If they dropped all normal behavior to fuck mankind and only stopped to facilitate eating and breeding from whatever was closest, they'd fuck over major urban centers in the blink of an eye just be being there and needing to eat, never mind if they had the sense by virtue of whatever malevolence to deliberately fuck our food sources. Our only hope would be to retreat into colder climates.
Defending ourselves would collapse almost every ecosystem on the planet, poison the biosphere, and destroy our agriculture. Almost everyone on the planet would die, with the only exceptions being those that manage to completely isolate themselves in reinforced bunkers, polar settlements, and perhaps self-sufficient seagoing vessels. Diets would be limited to the yields from sea life, hydroponics, and rather unproductive greenhouse gardens.
>To balance the scales, what if we make spiders loyal to humans?
Shit, yeah. Bring it on, insects. My spider bros have my back. I shall sleep soundly, protected by walls of silk.
>If they were organized in a hive consciousness, we'd be doomed
But they explicitly aren't. They're no smarter than they've ever been; they're just hostile to humans and generally cooperative with each other towards that goal (though given the number of insects that feed on other insects, this raises all sorts of questions).
It'd basically be World War Z--insects probably aren't smart enough to recognize the habitats of humans, so you'd really just have to bar your doors and windows and pray there aren't many cracks in your floor. Still, no more resources. We'd get pretty fucked, the sheer amount of protective gear required to go outside would be simply abhorrent. Living anywhere on Earth would be about as hostile as living in an Antarctic winter. Not fun, and everybody poor and many people in very hot climates besides are dead.
Load up a couple of crop dusters with some RAID and done, we win the battle.
But if we had to exterminate the majority of insects their would be a good chance that we'd all die from famine in a few years time. They have a very big role in the eco system.
But we've got chemical warfare on our side. Mutually assured destruction.
This is easy. Even assuming they can directly and with 100% accuracy detect a human when in the presence of one, without greater intelligence, a hivemind, or enhanced senses they are only going to use direct methods to attack, and sometimes fail to recognize us. Can an insect flying outside tell that there is a human inside a car? Probably most species can't.
Many many species of insect have no effective way of biting or stinging a person, and would have more effective way of attacking than swarming.
The most important thing to do in this scenario is to avoid all contact with honeybees.
Presumably insects will act normally unless they detect a human. I say this because if they drop everything they're doing to start hunting us, most of them will die before ever seeing a human, and in any case they would die out if they didn't focus at least a substantial portion of their time on survival/reproduction tasks.
If this is true, then the most important thing would be separating honeybees entirely from humans. The problem with them is their signaling; presumably even one that spots a human could signal dance to alert the whole hive. Of course the danger there is not to humans; but that too many bees would be wiped out trying to kill us. Beekeepers would need to start using robotics or other clever means to maintain and use beehives, and that could be hard to set up in time.
Ants and their pheromone trails could present a similar danger: even sugar ants could be dangerous by directing an entire hive to invade homes. Ants that have already gotten used to co-existing around humans would render many developed areas pretty dangerous.
Mosquitoes could become dangerous as disease vectors, if they change their behaviors and try to bite someone every person they see, rather than doing what they currently do which is biting once for a meal and then buggering off to lay eggs. In areas where mosquito-borne illnesses is already a problem, this might cause huge spikes in transmission, which could severely stress health care systems.
If they are not organized then they would be wiped out. Cities would be walled off by chemical fields. Farms would be domed areas where insects are controlled to pollinate plants. Gardens and parks would be gone. Bug spray would be at the entrance to every public space such as train stations, malls etc. Trucks would go around spraying clouds of it at night. Camping and other out door activities would not happen ever. any job such as wood cutting would be in almost bee keeper outfit maybe done a little heavier. A guard with poison would be around to spray any uppity ants or misquitos. Really poor would be chewed up nasty pieces of work from all the bug bites. maybe goggles nose plugs and ear plugs but otherwise suffer the stings. not like bullet ants are that common and red ants would have to stick near their nests even if they did go hunting humans in their area.
These motherfuckers start chewing you in your sleep rather than just eating whatever dead skin you left on the matress.
Nothing deadly but that gotta make a rash. And since they are everywhere but are now actively hostile to all human presence, we are gonna have a hell of scratching time.
If we really got serious there is no question who would win
Weve been commiting bug genocide for years. Entire isles of stores are lined with insecticides.
We are even killing off bugs we dont want gone.
There are suits that are basically bug proof, if there was an organized attack against us wed arm bee keepers with flame throws and fly crop dusters through cities.
>is op ant man?