Some fly. Some crawl. Some buzz. For a lot of people, insects are the most disturbing part of spending time in nature. But whether you hate bugs or just find them mildly annoying, you somehow have to come to terms with the fact that they’re part of God’s creation.

Why You Shouldn’t Hate Bugs

Insects stir up all kinds of negative emotions, from disgust to total fear. Believe me, I completely understand why you hate bugs. Just thinking about millipedes make me hate bugs, too.

But there are at least three really good reasons why you should learn how to make peace with bugs for your own good and for the good of the planet.

1. Every bug serves a purpose.

God created insects for a reason. In fact, every bug — even the really creepy ones — has a purpose. Bees pollinate crops. Ants clean up waste. Lady bugs protect your garden by feeding on insects that are hell bent on consuming your produce. Whether you like it or not, bugs exist by design and if they disappeared, life as you know it would no longer exist.

2. Pesticides are hazardous to people and the environment.

Getting rid of bugs usually involves the use of pesticides. More than 1 billion pounds of pesticide are used in the U.S. each year. That’s a problem because pesticides disrupt ecosystems and create health problems in people. Want proof? According to the latest research, honeybee populations are dying off at a faster rate in areas with the heaviest pesticide use.

3. Bugs are an important food source.

If you hate bugs, prepare to be really grossed out. Crickets, ants, termites and other bugs are important food sources for people around the globe. Combined with the central role that insects play in nature’s food chain, the caloric and nutritional benefits of bugs (for both humans and animals) are further proof that insects aren’t so bad after all.

In Psalm 96, the psalmist extols the virtues of the natural world and identifies the inhabitants of the field (including bugs) as things that are pleasing to God:

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
Let the field exult, and everything in it.

It’s not strange to hate bugs. On some level, insects intimidate all of us. But instead of allowing insects to ruin the time you spend in nature, recognize that every bug you encounter is fulfilling a God-given purpose.

Just like you.