Winter is finally upon us! With winter comes a delightful break from the year-round torment of bugs flying your face.
Winter is cold - as a result, you can peacefully breathe the winter air without having to worry about inhaling swarms of bugs. Then the thought occurred to me:
Could there be a world without bugs?
Two major problems I though of:
Insects are, either directly or indirectly, the most plentiful source of flesh for animals that don’t eat plants.
This could be rather problematic, because essentially removing the base of the food chain would require a lot of re-working in this area. Some birds whose diet consists entirely of insects could be handwaved into eating seeds and berries, but I don't know if there could even be enough seed and berry producing plants to realistically sustain (year round) all of the small animals that now eat insects. Besides, having all the smaller animals eat plants leads into another problem:
Plants need pollination, and if you get rid of the bees, the plants won't be able to produce fruit or seeds.
This isn't necessarily a problem, as there are already a lot of plants that get pollinated via Anemophily. Such plants include grasses and larger trees, but I don't see any reason why a little handwaving couldn't extend this to all plants.
Are there any other serious obstacles to creating a world without bugs? This world should be as close to Earth as possible, but I'd be fine with some pretty big changes, provided that it stays habitable for humans, and the nice animals humans are familiar with. How this world originated with its delightful insect-free ecosystem is irrelevant.