It reviewed 73 existing studies published around the world in the last 13 years.
Insects could become extinct in 100 years, scientists have warned.
What we need to do is to change the way we make food, or we can say our goodbyes to the insects. The researchers say that the total mass is falling by 2.5 percent every single year, which is far faster than most smaller-scale studies have hinted at.
Some insect populations could be extinct within a century, according to research published by a group of worldwide scientists.
"A rethinking of current agricultural practices, in particular a serious reduction in pesticide usage and its substitution with more sustainable, ecologically-based practices, is urgently needed to slow or reverse current trends, allow the recovery of declining insect populations and safeguard the vital ecosystem services they provide", the report said.
In addition to the 40% at risk of dying out, a third of species are endangered - numbers that could cause the collapse of the planet's ecosystems with a devastating impact on life on Earth.
Even though the study pointed out that intensive agriculture and urbanization are the main drivers of major insect losses, other factors, including climate change, pathogens, and synthetic pesticide pollution, could be contributing to this catastrophic bug issue.
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The new paper, which was published in the journal Biological Conservation, takes a broader look at overall insect populations.
"The repercussions this will have for the planet's ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least, as insects are at the structural and functional base of numerous world's ecosystems since their rise at the end of the Devonian period, nearly 400 million years ago".
They maintain soil structure and fertility, pollinate plants and control insect and plant pests.
In a November New York Times report about a possible "insect apocalypse", scientists were asked to imagine a world with no insects.
It goes without saying that insects are essential for the proper functioning of all ecosystems, with respect to their roles as pollinators, recyclers of nutrients, as well as being the main source of food for other species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
The study highlights the recent massive decline in Puerto Rican tropical forests and the and drop in flying insects in Germany.
The in-depth research found that one third of insect species are already classed as endangered, with 40 percent in nearly all regions around the world expected to face extinction over the next few decades.