The mid-term impact of forest fires and windthrows on species compositions in the insect orders Neuroptera, Raphidioptera and Mecoptera was assessed in Swiss forests using standardized flight interception traps. For 50 species the abundances in intact control plots were compared to those in moderately or strongly disturbed forest stands. The catches were combined over four forest disturbance projects ranging from windthrows in alpine spruce forests and lowland deciduous forests to winter forest fires in Southern Switzerland and a large summer fire in southwestern Switzerland. As a result 82% of the 50 species benefited from the disturbance and became more abundant in the years after the fire or windthrow. More species (19) had their maximum abundance in intermediately disturbed plots than in heavily disturbed forests (17). Only 11 species mainly Hemerobiidae and Coniopterygidae peaked in the undisturbed forest stands. The species are listed per impact and ranked as winners (more than 66% specimens per treatment collected in disturbed forest plots) losers (more than 66% specimens per treatment in undisturbed forest plots) and indifferent species. An additional 29 species that were too scarce for an assessment are listed in Appendix 1. We conclude that for Neuropterida and Mecoptera catastrophic incidences are natural ecological events which create new habitats and by this foster their occurrence and abundance.