Why Bugs Ruin Everything

Taxonomy chart

The Earth is almost the best planet ever. It’s stunningly gorgeous, optimally located in space, and it’s perfectly suited for its magnificent array of flora and fauna to live and thrive.

Almost the best planet ever.

Unfortunately, you can’t be the best planet ever when your clearest defining characteristic is a revolting worldwide bug infestation.

On what’s not that big a planet, there are 10 quintillion bugs, or 1.5 billion bugs for every living human, and they make up 80% of the world’s species.

What a shame.

And unlike an infested apartment or house, we can’t just move—this is our permanent situation.

Some might say I’m “overreacting” or “being a little bitch” when I say that bugs make life “basically not worth living,” but I’m not. Here’s why:

1) Bugs are tiny monsters.

Picture a large version of any other type of creature.

A large fish is still a fish. A large bird is an ostrich or something else normal. A large reptile? Alligator. A large mammal? Bear. Normal shit.

You know what’s not normal? A large insect.

You know why it’s not normal? Because a large insect would be a monster and monsters are not normal.

Imagine a fly the size of trash can or an ant the size of a park bench or a cockroach the size of a car. Is there any word you’d use to describe those things besides monster?

But because bugs are small, we’re just okay living on a planet with 10 quintillion monsters?

It’s a horror movie.

2) Bugs’ behavior is appalling.

Yes, they look like nightmares, but the main reason I and so many other reasonable people loathe bugs is because of how they behave.

Humans have elite status on this planet, and everyone seems to get that except for the insects. Unlike almost all other creatures, insects A) have no regard for a human’s personal space, B) don’t understand the concept of private property and think it’s okay to enter an indoor place uninvited, and C) apparently didn’t get the memo that humans are at the very top of the food chain, which means no one is supposed to feed on them.

If bugs just followed the rules like everyone else, they really wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s their egregious disregard for boundaries that makes them so despicable.



The problem is the boundaries. No one really hates squirrels. But if instead of staying outside where they belong, squirrels routinely ended up in your house, on your wall, on your food, and in your bed, we would all hate squirrels. If instead of being terrified of humans like they should be, squirrels regularly jumped on humans, crawled around people’s bodies while they’re sleeping, and sometimes sunk their teeth into you to suck your blood, I promise you we would all really, really hate squirrels.

3) Bugs can embarrass you.

It’s not a great situation to be a guy who’s terrified of bugs.

With another embarrassing phobia, you can usually just avoid that thing and no one has to know how faint and panic-stricken it makes you. But since, as mentioned above, bugs just do whatever the fuck they want, it’s not really up to you when you do and don’t encounter them. So a key skill of The Guy Who’s a Huge Pussy When it Comes to Bugs is to control the “initial involuntary horror reaction,” or the IIHR, which happens when you suddenly notice a large bug on or near you. An IIHR looks something like this:

Scared Baby

When I’m alone and see a bug, I let the IIHRs fly. I think probably the most mortifying thing that could happen to me would be for someone to show everyone a video montage of every private IIHR I’ve ever had.

But when there are people around, especially girls, it’s critical to overcome the initial terrified impulse and avoid a public IIHR display. I’ve gotten pretty good at that over the years:

calm 1

calm 2

calm 3

But sometimes a Bug Incident is so startling, violating, or overwhelmingly scary that before your conscious mind scrambles to the scene and takes control, an IIHR happens, and there’s nothing you can ever do to take it back:

freakout 1

freakout 2

freakout 3

freakout 4

freakout 5

4) Bugs can traumatize you.

So far, we’ve discussed the first two levels of Bug Incidents:

Level 1) The Violating Bug Incident—A bug inside your home, on the wall or floor

Level 2) The Incredibly Violating Bug Incident—A bug in your bed or on your body

But we’ve yet to broach the third and most deadly type of Bug Incident:

Level 3) The Life-Changing Bug Incident—A bug under your clothes or in your mouth

An incident like this changes you forever. For example, I have not drunk out of a water bottle with a straw since 1991.

water bottle 1

water bottle 2

water bottle 3

water bottle 4

water bottle 5

To better understand what we’re dealing with, let’s take a look at the five categories of insect:

(During this post, I’m gonna refer to spiders and other arachnids as insects even though they’re not insects. If I didn’t do this little note, at least four people would scold me in the comments, so here you go.)


Silly Insects

Not every insect is making the world a terrible place to live in. There’s a strict set of criteria in order for an insect to qualify as silly and end up in the only positive category:

  • They stay outside
  • They’re cute
  • They don’t bite
  • They don’t make sudden, startling movements
  • They’re not interested in humans
  • They’re hilarious


The Inchworm

The inchworm is the ideal silly insect. It’s absurd, adorable, slow-moving, and nerdy. One of the few insects I have no problem touching.

The Ladybug

Ladybugs are pulling a fast one on us. If they were black, we wouldn’t like them. They’d be icky, small beetles. But humans are a cheap audience, and dressing up like a clown has done the trick and made them likable to humans. A big strike against them is that they do have startle potential when they randomly fly, which I always seem to forget they can do.

The Pill Bug

Pill bug

Pill bugs are really fun to bully. Just touch a pill bug and he goes into emergency mode and curls into a hard little sphere, which you can roll around with your finger. Then when you stop, he waits a few seconds before gaining the courage to unroll and continue along with his day, at which point you repeat the process. Another icky beetle, by the way, who cheats his way into the silly category by pulling this little ball stunt to distract us from who he actually is.

He’s also not an insect, but a crustacean, something I learned just now, but I already wrote this so we’re keeping it in!

The Caterpillar


Caterpillars are amusing, self-loathing little creatures who always seem to be glum. Their immense slowness makes them very unscary (usually, not always), and they tend to stay outside.

Usually being large is a deal breaker for the silly category, but even large caterpillars manage to be unscary by being full legit cartoons.

Large green caterpillar

The Butterfly

Butterflies should be scary—it’s a huge insect that flies! But they do basically everything else right, and it just manages to work—they’re pretty, gentle, always outside, and their flapping isn’t stressful and buzzy like most insects, it’s light and delicate. The butterfly joins the ladybug and the firefly in the trio of bugs five-year-old girls have an affinity for.

I also learned recently that in the cocoon, a caterpillar doesn’t “grow wings onto its body,” but rather dissolves its whole body into a mush of cells which then reform into a butterfly. Unclear whether that’s one of those things everyone knew but me or if it’s new information to a lot of people.


Unpleasant Insects

An Unpleasant Insect is one that is harmless for the most part but acts and looks like an upsetting insect, with no gimmick to cover that up like the Silly Insect crowd. They don’t ruin my life, but it would still be better if they didn’t exist.

The Grasshopper

Grasshoppers are far too jumpy and startly to be considered pleasant. But they’re generally uninterested in humans or their homes, so they fit nicely in the second category.

The Housefly

Houseflies are not likable. They’re hideous, unfriendly, and part of their name is “house” because of how much they like being in the house with you. They also eat your food, and I found out recently that when they land on the food and don’t do anything for a few seconds, it’s because they’re throwing up on the food to get saliva on the part they’re gonna eat to start the digestive process ahead of time (good example of knowledge that you’re much better off not knowing—sorry).

The main point in their favor, and the reason they’re in this category, is that they don’t give me the willies like so many other bugs. I’m not scared of houseflies, they’re just annoying.

The Ant

When someone has a bunch of ants in their home, I think people think that each of those ants smelled crumbs and so they all came for that reason. In reality, the way ants work is that one obnoxious ant came exploring, found crumbs, and then went back and told the others. So if you ever see a sole ant walking around your kitchen, end his little existence before he breaks the news to 1,000 other ants that he discovered a kitchen.

While this relatively benign category might be fitting for your normal black ant, there are other ants far more terrifying. And completely insane people who use them for unspeakable rituals.

The Honeybee

Bees are overratedly scary. For someone who’s scared of almost all bugs, bees have never bothered me. The key with bees, and even with their more upsetting friends like wasps and hornets, is to just internalize how they’re wired—which is that they’re bored by humans, have no incentive to sting you, and that if you just ignore them, nothing bad will ever happen. The only time a bee is a dick is if he’s threatened—which only happens if you freak out when you see one. I also love when I’m with people and bees are around because it’s the one insect I act like an adult about.

If you’re interested, here’s a video of hornets doing mean things.

Upsetting Insects

Upsetting insects are more than a nuisance—they actively make life worse. It annoys the shit out of me when someone acts nonchalant about any insect from here forward, because these insects are blatantly upsetting, so what’s your problem.

The Moth

I hate moths—the butterfly’s disgusting, stressful cousin. You know what butterflies don’t do? They don’t do shit like this:

Or this:

What an incredibly unappealing thing to do. Also, how illogical are moths that they’re single-mindedly obsessed with light and yet also nocturnal? Who in the moth world was responsible for that decision and why are they so unimpressive?

The Big Mosquito

Very unclear what the big mosquito’s deal is or what he’s doing with his life. Small mosquitos are out there being normal, destroying happiness, and this weirdo is just up there being hectic in the corner of the ceiling. It’s like a mosquito that’s 10x the normal size and 1/10th the normal IQ.


The Fruit Fly

Monday, two fruit flies. Tuesday, three fruit flies. Wednesday, 880 fruit flies.


The Upsetting Spider

Daddy Long Legs

Not to be confused with The Nightmarish Spider, The Upsetting Spider encompasses the less-scary kinds, from the really small ones to absurd Daddy Longlegs.

Another type of person that annoys me is the one who’s like, “You should let the spiders in your house live because they kill other bugs.” SORRY, NO, I’m not going to voluntarily live with monsters because they might kill a different monster sometime if they get lucky. And what are you—a witch living in 1750? We’ve invented all kinds of advanced methods of insect control, and you’re gonna leave an insect’s lair as part of your living situation in favor of the modern methods?

Living with spiders also means that sometimes you’re going to walk into a room and suddenly there are spiderweb strands hanging off your face. When this happens, you know three things: 1) There’s a spider right near you somewhere, 2) He might be in your hair or in your collar, and 3) Your face is covered in stuff that recently came out of a spider’s ass.


Completely Unacceptable Insects

We’ve gone through some bad characters, but up to now, one thing no one has done is feed on your body. Now we get to a group of disease-carrying monsters whose goal is to land on your skin, burrow into it, and drink your blood. It’s not okay. No part of that is an okay thing.

The Mosquito

In a life full of experiences both good and bad, the single worst part is lying in bed in the dark and hearing the high-pitched buzz of a mosquito in your ear. The sound of a flying monster two inches away, who is planning on spending the night biting your face. You flail your arm in the direction of the sound, and it stops—which means either A) he’s on a surface one foot away biding his time, or B) he’s standing somewhere on your head and you don’t realize it. If somehow you can move on from this, about 30 seconds later you hear the buzzing again. You flail your arm and it stops.

This cycle repeats itself again and again and ends with one of two outcomes:

1) You eventually fall asleep, and then he lands on you and sucks your face blood throughout the night.

2) You get the fuck out of bed, turn on the light, and spend as long as necessary walking around the room in your underwear with a magazine until you’ve killed the mosquito.

The fact that a large portion of people don’t bother going for Outcome 2 is beyond me. Why is Outcome 1 acceptable for anyone ever??


The Tick

Oh just a bug that falls onto you from trees or jumps onto you from grass and then quietly bores its head and body deep into your skin. Then if you find them and ask them to leave, they refuse to let go. Could any behavior possibly be more off-putting? Who raised them? As a fun extra, they also permanently have Lyme Disease and leave you with that once you finally convince them to move on to other life pursuits by severing their head from their body.


The Louse

When I was in elementary school and the nurse would have everyone in her office for lice checks, I thought nothing of it. I thought of it like checking for dandruff or something. Then one day I saw a picture like this one and realized what a louse was.

It was the most horrifying discovery since the day I saw a Sesame Street segment on milking cows and realized that milk didn’t come from some white waterfall or creamy cloud, but rather from the fleshy fingers emerging from a cow’s veiny underbrain, permanently ending my milk-drinking days at the age of six.

Given the photo above, I’m not sure why kids feel the need to get creative with cliche fears like monsters under the bed, when there are actual monsters possibly living on their head.

I’m also now wondering why I had like 40 lice checks between the ages of 5 and 13 and none since. Doesn’t seem that well thought-out.


The Bedbug

You move and buy all new things. End of this discussion and don’t bring it up again.


Nightmare Insects

Given that bugs are who they are, this final dark category could be extended to include a large number of creatures, like these three. But since you and I both need to do other things today at some point, I’ll keep it to the most prominent of the Nightmare Insects. Starting with what we can all agree is the world’s worst creature—

The Cockroach

I’m feeling a certain way right now. It’s the way you feel when you’re looking for a picture of cockroaches and you end up for some inexplicable reason googling “cockroach infestation” and looking at images. I don’t recommend it, but if you’d like to understand what it feels like to feel how I feel right now, you can do that to find out.

Trying my best to regain my sense of self, I’ll move on by saying that one of the other things I confirmed while looking for a photo was that American cockroaches—the largest kind—do in fact fly.

Maybe it’s this new piece of knowledge—or maybe it’s the memory of a landlord telling me that every single building in New York City is infested with cockroaches and if you don’t have them in your apartment, they’re still in the walls and furnace room—or maybe it’s the fact that less than six months ago I was working late in an office in LA, wearing flip flops, when I felt something on my foot and looked down and there was a huge cockroach on the top of my bare foot and I kind of still haven’t gotten over it—but something going on in me is feeling very ready to move onto the next bug.

Quick side note: I just saw a tiny piece of lint from the couch on my wrist and jolted because writing this post has put me so on edge. Hopefully something more pleasant is coming up.

The Centipede

Forget the “keep your spiders” people. The site I got this picture from gives advice regarding bugs, and says the following about this science fiction horror movie alien:

What Brandon has labeled the Bug of Doom is a harmless, beneficial House Centipede. This nocturnal predator is not known to bite people, will run away when the lights are snapped on, and will eat cockroaches and other undesirable household intruders if left alone to forage.

The best thing I can compare this to is a woman calling the police because there’s a naked man in a squat on her kitchen counter staring at her with a twisted smile and the police telling her to leave the man be because he’s just staring and probably won’t touch her, and if a burglar or rapist or murderer ever breaks into the house, they’ll be so weirded out when they see the naked smiling squatting man on the counter that they’ll leave and won’t harm her.


The Nightmarish Spider

Time for the grand king of all life misery. There are a lot of scary bugs, but none could give me the feeling I’d get if I were sitting on the couch and looked over at the lamp and saw this:

Spiders are just different than other bugs—they’re in their own league of scariness, with serious separation even from the previous two creatures. We’re also out of “irrational fear” land now—that guy on the lamp is incredibly fast, can jump, and might have a bite that can kill you. There’s actual real reason to be scared.

The only thing I can think about when looking at that picture is how the hell I’d proceed. I’d probably end up slowly taking the lamp outside, but there’s a good chance that as soon as you move the lamp, he starts sprinting around the shade or jumps off and you have an experience like this:

Spider GIF

Sorry, I know I’m putting you through a lot right now. We’re almost done.

Let’s begin our wrap-up pleasantly with the spider that’s so huge it eats birds:

And finally, the single scariest photo ever taken in mankind’s history—a tarantula and hundreds of tarantula babies.


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Three less disturbing Wait But Why animal breakdowns:

The Bunny Manifesto
The Primate Awards
The Dark Secrets of the Bird World

Bugs ruin life

  • Jo Jo

    Thanks for the nightmares. 🙁

  • Ajax

    Too good.

  • Matt

    Oh god oh god oh god I RELATE. Why would you put yourself through this post?

    Best part for me…the bug’s facial expression as he was spit out of your mouth.

  • Verdun


    Immediately had to look at the Bunny Manifesto to make myself feel better.. Can’t stop itching. So sad.

  • Jenny

    The IIHR as a concept killed me and that baby gif made me burst out laughing. Okay gonna read the rest of the post now just had to say that.

  • Hennessy

    That comparison to Naked Squat Man was AMAZING……

    I hope to hear more about Naked Squat Man, and maybe see a Paint picture of him one day.

    Scratch, I demand to hear and see more of him!

    • Dani

      I concur. There needs to be a reality show about Naked Squat Man.

  • Alexis

    I think you are forgetting the Nightmarish Spiders unpleasant cousin, “Spider Stuck in Hair.”

    As a woman with long hair I can say with the clarity of post-traumatic flashbacks that getting a spindly spider stuck in one’s hair is an experience never to be repeated or forgotten.

  • cynthia

    Why would you write something you have no knowledge of. Without bugs and their systems of pollinating plants we would not be here at all. I could go on and on about what insects do for us but you just don’t get it. Keep running that SUV all the time

    • Dani

      Someone forgot to take their sense of humor pills today!

    • Raab

      Jesus Lady – It’s a story that is meant to relate to people’s fears of bugs, not actually what they do/don’t do for us/the environment. Please, Al Gore, Go sit in the corner.

      • Lol

        Raab- LOL! XD

  • Traci Browne

    Love the final touch…well done

  • Elizabeth

    JHC… I could not even read the last part about the spiders. I was all nutted up and anxious as I started to read, scrolling down slowly, knowing that the end would produce a horrifying photo of a spider that would make me lose my shit. Yup. It did. I’m going to knock back a shot of something strong so I can get the courage to read the end… Awesome blog. Awesome post.

    • jen

      i used a handkerchief to cover the pics of all the spiders. i can’t have that in my life. i am much better than i used to be, but there’s no reason to put myself through that. you do know they make real live scary movies about spiders, right?!? there is a reason. because they are hideous, terrifying monsters that in fact really do want to kill you. and hair?? on an insect?? beyond unacceptable. fin.

  • diana elizabeth

    I can’t stop laughing. I have never bit into a piece of fruit since I was 12. Last time I bit into a peach and chewed, looked down and there were worms. I ran to the sink and that was that.

  • ms

    Ok that tarantula on the ceiling gif is just too much… I damn near jumped from my seat at work

  • Leeann

    Sorry, ladybugs are unacceptable, too. One, okay. Try ’em when you have hundreds. My house has a meadow around it and on warm days, they come inside and cluster in terrifyingly large groups. Thank God I have a vacuum with a long hose.

  • Amanda

    Some centipedes are also incredibly deadly- just like horror spiders.

  • lin

    I had to put my phone over the left part of my screen when i saw the word centipede as i cautiously scrolled down, especially since i knew it’d get worse from there.

    An image or two of those nightmarish creatures and i’m rapidly looking across the room, fidgeting in the most crackish of ways.

  • Justen

    I would take a nightmarish spider over a bedbug any day. I can’t handle those little beasts.

  • Pat

    You are right. Bugs do ruin everything

  • Ashley

    Super. Thank you. Barely scrolled down and now I’ve got “cockroach the size of a car” to keep me awake tonight. With the centipedes (*shiver*) to follow.


    That was horrible-wonderful. I think there’s something in my hair.

  • Amanda

    Can’t stop laughing at the naked squat man analogy. It’s perfect!

  • Siobhan

    If I’m tired at work and can’t be arsed to go and get a coffee, I google for tarantula images and the resulting adrenaline rush gets me through the day. It can make you yelp at co-workers though so bear that in mind.

  • Zenith

    I could be wrong but I thought that last photo of the big spider with hundreds of babies was actually a Huntsman spider? (Which are terrifyingly common in and around Sydney, even in urban areas.)

  • Adele

    Haha. When I was eight I saw something creeping around on my wall and I called my parents. To prove to me that there was nothing there and that my imagination was getting the better of me, my dad tapped the wall or something, which made the very real tarantula fall on my neck. Definitely not my favorite animal.
    But centipedes belong in the silly insects category. They’re adorable.

    • Kory

      NO! NO! There is nothing silly about a centipede! They were all over my apartment in Japan, under spoons, in the clothes from my dresser, climbing the wall as I sat on the toilet, in my bed — and they BITE! And it HURTS! a LOT! That was a very long two years.

  • Cindy

    Millipedes are the worst!!

  • Adrienne

    Wanted to let you know that the “big mosquito” is most likely a mosquito hawk, an insect that actually eats mosquitos. When my stepson was about 6 years old and lived with me and my ex-husband, he started screaming in the middle of the night. When I went into his room, there was this huge shadow on the wall above his night light. It was a mosquito hawk. Scared him to death, but when we explained it ate regular mosquitos, he calmed down.

    • Vic

      Mosquito hawks (or mosquito eaters) don’t actually eat mosquitos. They’re more properly known as crane flies. Their larvae are carnivorous and eat mosquito larvae, but having one in your house is annoying and not at all beneficial.

      There’s a great bit from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Through a Scanner Darkly” where a girl gets the main characters to get a mosquito hawk out of her house and they tell her it’s harmless.

      “Oh, well if I’d known it was harmless, I would have killed it myself.”

  • Lali

    I have big issues with daddy longlegs since one walked on me from head to toes when I was a child. Thank you for that, when I saw a leg I had to close my browser, and had a very hard time going back. And then I scrolled FAST, can’t even see one in a picture. I of course skipped the Nightmare Spider part.
    Maybe I will give it a second try later, once I’ve calmed down, to use it as some sort of therapy 😉
    PS: Centipedes are bad too. I love bugs in general, but I have a rule: more than 6 legs is too many legs.

  • Chad

    eh…I live in Australia. you can’t swing a cat without hitting some animal that could kill you, be it dickish or non-dickish 🙂

  • Scott

    The Giant Palm Katydid picture (one of the three hyperlinked under ‘Nightmare Insects’ is not real. Doesn’t take away from it’s buggyness though.


    It was from an April fool’s posting.

    Love the article. Hate the bugs. :p

  • Pam

    When I was a teenager I was sunbathing in my yard and my mom was taking in the wash. She was shaking out the towels as she took them off the line and out of the towel flew a long horned spruce beetle – right into my cleavage. To say I freaked out would be the understatement of the year. In case you don’t have these in your neck of the woods – here is what they look like:

  • Brande Morrison

    Excellent, hilarious post as always. Totally icked out now, of course. I was surprised not to find cave crickets on this list. Worst. Bugs. Ever. My sister broke her foot as a kid jumping away from one and I nearly killed myself one morning when one jumped on my leg *in the shower*!!

    Also, my place gets those house centipedes in the summer and they’re terrifying. Lightning-fast, creepy as hell, and they actually can get quite big. Look up to one of those on your ceiling one day for an attack if the heebie-jeebies that’ll last 30 minutes.

    • Wait But Why

      Just googled cave crickets. Basically cockroaches that jump like a grasshopper. Hideous.

      • SMDXS

        Yes. But they are even scarier than that! They are essentially completely stupid monsters. But when you go to kill one of them they jump AT you because they are scared. They are blind and don’t have any defense so their defense is to create an offense. At least this is what I was told.

        I hate cave crickets.

  • Katie

    Thanks for doing this during the winter, when most of the bugs are hiding out or dead so I can still sleep tonight. This is the reason I get my house sprayed for bugs; I still see bugs around the house, but they are usually dead or dying by the time I see them.

  • Jonathan

    I made it to the end, and even googled “cockroach infestation.” I barely made it out alive. I’m not nearly as scared of bugs as I used to be.

    Story 1: I was probably about six years old and we were at my Grandma’s and were going out for a walk and she brought up a light jacket from the basement for me to wear and I put it on and there was a cricket in the arm of the jacket. Nightmares for weeks.

    Story 2: We were staying in Colorado and there was a bug in my room and I woke my mom up and just to shut me up and so she could go back to sleep, my mom “pretended” to kill the bug. I went back to bed and a few minutes later felt a beetle crawling around in bed with me.

    Now that I’m grown up, I am less horrified of bugs generally, but spiders are still startling no matter how old you are. They are the worst. Silent. Fast. Always exactly where you don’t expect them to be.

  • Voracious Reader

    Great post. I hate just about everything except spiders (small ones without that creepy red hourglass, those are gross). When I was 6, our gardener thought it would be funny to put a grasshopper on my shoulder. My freak-out continues to this day.

    Comments are priceless. I laughed, but in solidarity and squeamishness.

  • Aimee

    Couple of points: that thing you call a “big mosquito” is a mosquito hawk. It eats mosquitos and you should leave it alone (yes im one of those people). And secondly you are a good writer and i enjoy your posts, but if you dont mind my saying so, you seem like the kind of giy who could benefit from a couple of xanax now and then.

  • Tim Ryan

    How do people feel about dragonflies? I am deathly afraid of most insects but these guys definitely fall into my “Silly Insects” category, despite being pretty horrific looking.

    • Wait But Why

      I had dragonflies in there as an item in the Unpleasant category but edited it out for space reasons. I agree entirely—remarkably unscary given how scary-looking and buzzy they are.

  • Katatonic

    I was working aloft on a ladder against the phone pole about 20′ up. The terminal I needed was off-set from the pole about 3 feet, almost directly over my head. I looked up and opened it and EARWIGS came pouring out. Normal response: shriek loudly enough to bring the neighbors to their windows. And continue shrieking alternating with spitting and choking because of course, one fell into my mouth. So glad that was in the days before ubiquitous phone cameras.

    And that vid of the spider jumping past the container? if my chair didn’t have wheels, they’d be hauling me to the ER with a concussion from falling over backwards.

    Great post!

    • Wait But Why

      Horrifying, Katatonic. Just unthinkable.

  • Sean

    I was totally with you on all but moths. I too used to hate them and especially because of the light retardation. Then, I read that Richard Dawkins suggested that ‘religion’ in people is an over active but otherwise useful “believe adults or you’ll die as a kid” reflex. It’s the dame with moths: they navigate by the position of the moon in the sky. That’s how their vision is designed. When we came along with bulbs we basically busted their eyes and they can’t get where they’re going.

    • Wait But Why

      Fascinating. I never really thought about what happened to moonlight-using bugs after lightbulbs were invented. It must literally destroy their entire scheme. And it completely explains moths’ borderline insane behavior.

  • Anonymous

    Why? :'(

    • Tim

      Wait, but…

  • Ally

    Clearly you have never been stung by a caterpillar. They are not acceptable.

    This was hilarious and upsetting. I’m pretty sure I need a shower now. You are braver than you give yourself credit for, googling these images! I couldn’t even look at the roaches.

    The gif at the end was a nice touch. I thought I was seeing things.

  • stacecase

    I laughed so hard the tears were streaming, this is hilarious, but very creepy. I can’t shake the itchy feeling that something is crawling on me now, thanks for that! 😉 You forgot silverfish…nasty things, but definitely spiders are the WORST OF ALL. Been phobic all my life and have WAY too many experiences of sucking up large grey wolf spiders into a vacuum cleaner and then putting the vacuum in quarantine for at least a week to make sure the spider was really dead and didn’t manage to climb out. YUCK.

  • Liss

    Centipedes – and any other worm-like creatures for that matter – are COMPLETELY unacceptable. I almost ran for it when I saw the picture of the giant horny caterpillar. Otherwise I was laughing so hard it hurt.

  • Poornima

    Precisely why I love the polar vortexes and extremely cold weather. Makes outdoors fun because there are no bugs!

  • Andrea

    Thanks for the “less disturbing Wait But Why animal breakdowns” links, it helped after the horror

  • Ry

    I googled “cockroach infestation” . Regret for ignoring your advice :'(

  • Anonymous

    I had the mouse in my hand while I was reading and watching that horrible spider video … somehow clicked the arrow on the screen…nearly made me jump off the couch

  • Stephen

    Great bug file, thanks, though you did miss out this fella as a real candidate for the biggest, scariest bug; The New Zealand Weta;
    Imagine him enlarged to the size of a small bus and he’s already big enough to carry around a GPS tracker;

  • Carrie

    Your articles have me in tears every week!

    This week, I found myself reading faster and faster after I reached the upsetting bugs. My stress level shot through the roof. I’m absolutely sure the end of the story was as awesome and hilarious as the beginning and everything else you write. I’m not (very) ashamed to admit I couldn’t finish reading because I nearly had a massive anxiety attack (due to post traumatic life changing bug experience).

    That said, thank you for not mentioning “baby flies.” I could not have dealt.

  • Tom

    As always, excellent prose which I find highly relateable, especially regarding the huntsman in the corner looking like a total asshole who gives not one fraction of a fuck about the fact that you own the house that it, and its 100 eight-legged dick children, now inhabit.

    One glaring omission from this list, however, is the Botfly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bot_fly):

    “Their larvae are internal parasites of mammals, some species growing in the host’s flesh and others within the gut. The human botfly, Dermatobia hominis, is the only species of bot fly known to parasitize humans routinely, though other species of fly do cause myiasis in humans.” – If that doesn’t promote this horrible little shit to the status of nightmarish, then perhaps this footage will:


  • Helen

    In South Africa we get very scary bugs called Parktown Prawns. Google it!!!! Definitely part of the nightmare category.

  • Quaglia
  • Alexandra

    Funniest post ever!!! Even though I sooo relate! 😛
    Hope I won’t have any nightmares tonight. Thank god I read it in the morning 😛

  • Mike

    here is a plan – catch them, fry them in butter and eat them. Once word gets out that humans eat bugs – they will leave us alone. Someone else start…

  • Martin

    Haha! When reading the spider entry (by far my worst bug phobia) I felt a sudden itch on my leg kicked it so hard my knee hit the desk and tipped out a cup of coffee! Good thing I have my own office now! 🙂
    Thanks for your amazing posts!

  • Caboose

    The bug at the bottom freaked me out so much!

  • Princess Mom

    Inchworms and ladybugs are silly and acceptable? Clearly you’ve never had an inchworm in your hair (they hang from the trees on invisible threads just waiting for someone to walk into them!) or been bitten by a ladybug. (Asian ladybird beetles infest our area every September. They mass on the front porch like moths, get into the house on your clothes and hair and through tiny cracks in the doors or windows and bite like horseflies if you try to brush them off! Plus, they smell horrible when you crush them.)

  • Grace

    WHY did you have to use real images, including one of a CENTIPEDE.

  • KT

    This was one of your best essays yet – unfortunately it has reminded me of at least 15 major traumatizing events in my past I thought I’d put behind me! Giant spiders above only MY bed at night in Florida, baby spiders coming out of the molding around my bedroom doorframe that my parents didn’t believe, my sister singing me to “sleep” with her original hit SPIDERS from her bunkbead, sheesh thanks for the memories. Glad to know I’m not alone – did read VERY fast at the end there, ‘shudderrrrrrrr’

  • Debbie

    My sentiments exactly! Thanks for the laugh! I have to note, you missed earwigs amongst the unacceptable bugs.

  • George

    That’s one of the greatest but least appreciated things about living in Colorado – most of these species of bugs don’t like it here – enjoying your home and the outdoors without being constantly attacked by bugs – truly awesome.

  • Kellie

    I was alternating between laughing so hard I was crying and keeping down the bile.

    At Christmas every year my parents had a particular candy dish always filled with M&Ms. One year I mindlessly plunged my hand in, grabbed a bunch and shoved them in my mouth. Along with a million ants. OK, maybe not a million but A WHOLE LOT OF ANTS!!! Ugh. I have to go brush my teeth.

  • ella

    I live in AZ and we get seasonal cricket infestations. You walk in the front door to find hundreds of crickets jumping around your home. Tehn usually one may go on a large killing spree and attack until the smart crickets hop on into air vents and your walls. Then they chirp… and rob you of sleep as they crawl on your bed. any bug in abundance belongs in the nightmare category. I HATE cricket season… *shudders*

  • ella

    and moths are the spawn of Satan. They’re terrifying.

  • Jinx

    Best post ever!

  • Znap!

    Can I interest anyone in the Scolopendra gigantea? A giant carnivorous Amazonian centipede the length of your forearm, not fussy about eating small animals such as mice, bats, frogs and birds? No?

  • Znap!

    I meant to supply this interesting information with a link also: here you go. http://www.damninteresting.com/giant-carnivorous-centipedes/

  • Marcusss

    Oh man… I can relate to the terror of the American Cockroach! I was about 10 years old and there was one of those monsters climbing up the wall. I thought “Easy pickins.” I got the roach spray and got about three feet away, sprayed directly on it…and that’s when I found out that they could fly. Right toward my face…Holy Smokes!!!

  • pipe

    There áre bug-free countries. At least bugs-that-kill-you-free-countries. Even animals-that-kill-you-free-countries.

    What I don’t understand: why are bugs in warm countries bigger than bugs in cold countries? Fighting the cold is easier when you are big right?

  • Dario

    Let’s start off by saying this post expresses some of my deepest beliefs about life, those things you always thought about and pathetically tried to hide for years. I freakin’ hate bugs, like seriously hate them. So I consider you kind of a kindled spirit right now and that’s a big honor I’m bestowing on you thank you very much.

    That said, what’s the deal with you and bees? I mean, come on! They are the scariest monsters of all! They’re yellow and black, for god’s sakes, they buzz annoyingly wheter you bother them or not, and they sting you. Ok, I get it, they only sting when they feel threatened, but let’s face it, it’s not like they have this zen-like approach to life! I mean it’s super-easy to scare the little fuckers, even completely unintentionally, and then they’ll sting you like there’s no tomorrow (which, for the little I know about entomology, might very well be the case for them). And then there’s hornets, even bigger and louder and more monster-like. I mean, you’re telling me you’re not at all scared of these?


  • Marlaf

    This post reminded me of something i have never been able to get out of my head and its sort of related to yr post: spit is ok if its inside yr mouth, but really disgusting outside of it! Like if you spit in a glass it would be totally gross! Now you all have to gave that image. I think it might be universally hard wired to protect us, maybe the same with certain bugs?
    I have a total fear of carpenter ants, and would have to sell the house if we had them.

  • Vera

    That last picture is really really disturbing. I regret scrolling all the way down and getting even a quick glimpse of it. I see it now every day before I go to bed etc. When getting back to the article the other day I cautiously stopped right at the edge of that pic. I thought seeing it again and may be staring at it for a while would help me but I have no internal strength to do that. Uaaaaaaah. Yes, I am arachnophobic, since my childhood, and reading articles like this one does not seem to improve it.

  • Christine

    For me the line between nuisance bug and nightmare bug pretty much comes down to how much juicy tissue is left behind after quashing it. Can you imagine swatting a tarantula? Gaah.

  • Dai

    Thanks for the post (finally someone who understands the SCARINESS of these devil spawns) but I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW for putting so many pics in it.

  • Steven L

    When I was a little kid, I lived in a house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the border of the jungle. Like, the legit jungle. The thing about Malaysia is that every single insect from the above list lives there, only its’ three times as large. I got freaked out by a giant grasshopper and ran back inside, only to run into a swarm of massive, disgusting moths, that got in my eyes and mouth. Once you’ve felt a moth touch you in the eye, there’s no going back. I literally cannot handle my shit around moths, and I won’t be able to for the rest of my life.

    Also, locusts are actually what grasshoppers do when they’re hungry. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-grasshoppers-go-bibl/

  • Misa

    The horror, i’m deathly afraid of any type of cricket, grasshopper, and the park town prawn is in a league of it’s own- damn devils they all are. This post had me feeling imaginary creepy crawlies lurking around my desk and body and laughing out loud in the office all at the same time. And please don’t get me started on the excruciating experience of googling all these devil spawn that you devious commentators have posted, why couldn’t i just look away. Damn you Stefano Damero!

  • EsReverniDrawrof

    If the devil exists, then its minions are in the form of small, winged, blood sucking, bacteria infused assholes. Despite my feeble attempts to protect myself (I NEVER EVER go outside without repellent and limb cover), every year, around May and June, I’m a victim of blood robbery. It’s a senseless, reoccurring crime that always lands me in the ER.
    That “huge mosquito” is actually a crane fly. Its a lawn destroyer hell bent on being creepy by posing as a drunk, jumbo mosquito that bobs and swerves while flying (poorly) and does NOT eat mosquitoes. I was always told this, and devastated when I learned otherwise.
    While I almost agree with WBW’s entire post (caterpillars aren’t silly, they’re disgusting), there’s one revolting creature missing from the list. If you’ve never seen a potato bug, I’ll warn you before you Google it that it looks like an alien fetus. I can’t even write anything else about it because it’s making me have the heebie jeebies as I type.Yuck.

  • EsReverniDrawrof
  • Aterus

    You have no idea how long I was trying to get that stupid bug at the bottom of the post off of my screen.

  • Bongosmama

    Thank your lucky stars you don’t live in Johannesburg, where THIS mofo gets up to 4 INCHES in size and loves being indoors. Parktown Prawns, we call ’em. http://www.rentokil.co.za/blog/parktown-prawn/

  • MichaelCryingSoftly



  • Julia

    You left out stink bugs; whenever I see one I feel like I need to shower but I’m afraid to take my clothes off because naked = vulnerable.

  • HilJo

    The more times I watched that horrible spider on the ceiling (see, I cant even describe what happened) more panicked my reaction becomes. There is no “Oh, I know what happens and am prepared for it”, just pure terror, panic, screaming….So thanks for that. Nightmares await.

  • Jennifer

    I’m so glad you covered this. This is such a perfect blog topic.

    I used to feel so bad for killing bugs and thought that I needed to be an earth mother type and learn to love all things if I wanted to be a good, decent woman.

    That was until I moved in with my grandparents and battled a roach infestation. And then there was that time when I first got my beloved puppy and she was covered in ticks. At least one, gave her a serious bacterial disease (that can be given to humans if an infected tick gets on for a buffet ride) that near killed her. Now she does not go without flea and tick prevention meds (thank humans) each month.

    The thing is, that butterfly doesn’t want anything to do with you, and that lady bug is just frickin’ cute (come on it has spots!). Nice.

    But indoor roaches, ticks and the like, they don’t give a fuck about your health and can make your life a living nightmare.

    Those roaches wanted every square inch of our house. And they near got it.

    Oh and I hear there are really big roaches in forests and stuff that like trees. This is good. These are good roaches, but the ones that crawl on your face at night and play dead and literally fight with your shoe to get in–no thanks.

    (Today there was a tiny spider in my shower; I just could not bring myself to smash it).

  • Jennifer

    Also Wait But Why,

    Please do not move to Australia.

    • hjbhk

      Heheheheheheheheh. There is no escape there.

  • Sharon

    I think my insect phobia must be very intense because I couldn’t even look at the pictures of the nightmarish insects so skipped that section altogether.
    Also I find butterflies, ladybugs, bees and anything with tentacles scary whether they are harmless or not.
    Same goes for lobsters, prawns, crabs and other water insects. They are all pure evil!
    Worst thing is when you have a giant huntsman spider run up your windscreen when you’re driving and after the initial horror you’re stuck in your car not knowing which door to use to get out because the spider could be sitting just above it…

  • Natasha

    I mostly like your post. I guess I would be seen as the freakish outsider here, but I was raised in an arachnophile family–we had a pet tarantula for 12 years, guapa, and every one of my family regularly rescues spiders and other “bugs” from people who would smash them–taking them outside, playing with the beautiful zebra hopping spiders. I raised a daughter who at age 5 wanted to be a ballerina and an entomologist–for her 7th birthday party we had a zoologist-led hike to see as many bugs and other critters as possible in a field, lake, and marsh. That year she received at least 5 insect and arachnid guidebooks. I remain committed to spreading appreciation, if not love, of arachnids and insects. In my view, the really nasty parasites are internal non-insects.

  • Dillon

    Seriously, your stick-figure art is world-class. I didn’t realize simple Paint doodles could illustrate things so well.

    This article reminded me of a time I went camping and this flying beetle the size of what looked like a golf ball began to buzz ceaselessly around my head. Thinking it was something smaller, I still freaked out as I normally would but then my hand made contact with it and my entire body was in a state of disbelief at what it had just touched. Then it flew into vision for a short split-second but it was more than enough to completely rattle me; I started sprinting like my life depended on it. The camp site was in a relatively open area so I had the space to do it, and I thought I’d easily shake it off. I sprinted harder than I think I’ve ever managed before, and when I came to a stop to catch my breath after maybe 200m I was horrified to find that the fiendish creature stuck with me the whole time, STILL buzzing around my head. At this point I was seriously scared and was willing to do anything to shake it off, so I ran back another 150m to my brother who wasn’t aware of my predicament, stood next to him, and slowly crouched. As I suspected, the bug was stupid and started buzzing around my brother’s head. It took a couple of seconds but as soon as he noticed it, he too began running in a frenzied panic much the same way I did; it’s worth noting that he’s faster than me but still wasn’t able to shake it off. Instead of passing it to someone else however, he made the smart decision of sprinting straight into the nearby water, where he successfully lost it and neither of us ever saw it again. We never saw it again after that point and to this day I have no idea what it was, but that was probably the worst experience I’ve ever had with an insect. I can’t stand them.

    Anyway, Tim, & Andrew, I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to your blog posts. I think I stumbled upon your blog when I saw a link to the “Insufferable Facebook Posters” article on HuffingtonPost a while back and I’ve since then been hooked

    I can’t tell you how much the blog posts both crack me up and open my eyes to many things I don’t know, or thought I knew but didn’t. There’s something really fun about the way you write! I can relate to pretty much all of the content (except for the American-centered posts being a Canadian but that’s alright, I read those anyway too) and each post has me looking forward to next Tuesday for whatever’s coming then.

    Please keep up the fantastic work, cheers!

  • Dawn

    Bed bugs are the worst bug in the world hands-down. I can’t believe they aren’t in the nightmare list! What other bug feeds on your blood at night and can in your bed? Not to mention they’re extremely difficult and cost hundreds of dollars to exterminate!

    Also, unless you have thousands of dollars to pay for the method that kills them all in one shot by heating up your entire house it’s going to take several visits to completely kill them (like cockroaches they’re survivors). The best part? You get to be the bait! Bed bugs stay hidden unless they’re crawling out of their hiding spaces at night to find food aka YOU! The way they’re killed is by them tracking through whatever treatment the exterminator sprayed and getting poisoned. That means you HAVE to stay in the room that’s infested and act as bait to draw them out so they go through the treatment/spray and die!

    Plus, to prepare for the treatment you have to bag and treat all your clothes, curtains, and any other fabric in the infected rooms by washing and drying it in heat high enough to kill the bugs. It takes forever and the whole time you’re stressed about spreading the infestation.

    I know because I’ve been through it. They are the WORST bug ever and definitely should be moved to the nightmare list!!!! Google them and prepare to be horrified by what I held back on sharing 🙁

    Sorry to scare everyone, but I want to spread awareness about what’s a growing epidemic in our country that many are unaware of. Luckily, there’s simple things you can do to protect yourself and prevent getting them, especially when traveling: check your hotel no matter how nice it is before you spend the night, keep your suitcase on a luggage rack, and never leave your purse or coat on a bed or let anyone put their purse or coat on your bed. There’s more but I’m not an expert, just a paranoid person who doesn’t want to EVER deal with a bed bug infestation again. Easy to find it you google and there are great sites with lots of resources, too.

    • johnparker237

      It used to be very easy to control bedbugs until well-meaning environmentalists banned DDT. Now they are back.

  • deborah

    Wait, can we talk about frogs for a second here? They can and will jump on your face. Forget about going swimming or smoking a cigarette in the rain… FUCKING FROGS.

  • Anna

    Earwigs!! I used to work as a landscaper and cleaning out garbage cans was part of the job. I had an unusual earache one morning and went to the Doctors office nearby to get it checked out. Nurse looks in my ear…gasps,,,puts tweezers in and pulls out earwig. Earwig falls to the floor and nurse steps on it. Still alive up to that point. I think it was making a new life for itself in my head.
    My ear hurts thinking about it.

  • MeretO

    In complete agreement with blog post and all comments, thanks to all, but here’s a video from an alternate universe where bugs aren’t judged and feared.

  • Sara

    This is exactly how I feel about insects. Cockroaches are my worst fear and of course, our new house came with cockroaches and apparently everyone in the neighborhood has them. One crawled across my foot one night and I about had a heart attack. I hate those MFers. I think we killed them all with various poisons and haven’t seen them in months.

    The other nightmare situation happened when my then 5 year old son had a beetle fly right in his ear – in his bedroom! It had perfect aim! Fortunately it crawled out the next morning. Ewwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JB

    This post needs a button to hide the images… particularly the last couple… Not sure if I missed any text under my hand covering them up, but I don’t care!

  • TY

    Mostly agree with your categories, but would move houseflies, ants, and moths up because they are incredibly annoying if you have them in your house and difficult to get rid of. Moths particularly – you really have to have experienced it to know how incredibly annoying they are. If any type of food that they like is not stored airtight (seeds, grains, flour, pasta etc), they WILL find a way into it and start an infestation.

    Centipedes range from “silly” to “nightmare” depending on the species. The depicted house centipede is actually one that I put in “silly”. That said, in my experience they don’t do enough to other bad bugs so don’t keep them around because of that.

  • Steanne

    fun fact: only female mosquitos drink blood.

  • Selian

    I feel like bugs are crawling all over me now…
    What I don’t understand is why I made myself look at all the images..why??

  • Prashanth

    It is funny how we call this planet our home and try to make our “zones” exclusive for things, living or otherwise, that we prefer. Being the dominant species, the instinct to dominate comes naturally; more so in humans than any other species.
    This trait is more evident in the divisions we have made within ourselves starting at race and tumbling through the rabbit hole to encounter our psychology towards, country, state, neighborhood and so on.

    I am with you when you say NO to bugs but at the same time I am cognizant of the fact that we, as a species, have a choice to dislike them and would like to have a planet free of bugs. What I am basically saying is that we want to keep the plant all for ourselves and only those creatures that amuse us without causing any trouble.
    But . . what then? If you have a magic wand that you can wave at things to disappear for ever, what else would you possibly get rid of? This is where it gets interesting . . what do you think Hitler was thinking while he was doing what he was doing? Ever wondered if there is a little Nazi in each and every one of us waiting to take over when given the power? What now?

    I am not saying . . I am just saying . . no offence!

  • LL

    Couldn’t finish reading the article because I got scared by the pictures starting with the cockroach. had a shiver attack from the repulsiveness of the centipede and then scrolled down without looking to comment… haha :\

  • xy

    I had to close my eyes to copy and paste all the text starting with the unpleasant insects into wordpad so I didn’t have to look at the pictures.

  • tt

    my logical self was like “come on, why would you get so horrified of a harmless little bug!” aand then had an IIHR myself with the gif at the end 😀 😀

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  • Amanda

    So, when you said “Other animal breakdowns” I thought you meant “breakdown” as in “nervous”, because that’s what I had reading this post.

  • D

    I enjoyed reading this. Thank you!

  • mosquito eater

    I am not a big mosquito! I am a mosquito eater and you should appreciate me! However I do have a small brain and I’ve forgotten what I technical, scientific name is.

  • Friend
  • Terri

    Thanks for the laughs!

  • Lou King

    “….there was a huge cockroach on the top of my bare foot and I kind of still haven’t gotten over it…”
    *actively holding feet off of floor now*

  • Lee

    Just something you may not know: Ladybugs can, and occasionally do, bite. They are predators. And it hurts.

  • Moses

    Jumping and crawling and a big FU for the fake bug. AAARGH.
    I had a June bug land directly in my right eye during 3rd grade in Monterey, California. All six legs STUCK in my cornea. Next memory, being pinned against the principal’s wall by staff while the nurse used forceps to pluck the bug out and then each and every leg that was left behind … six, to be exact. Phobia=illogical fear. I’m sorry, but after almost having my brain sucked out and being pinned by the principal to the wall, bugs present a very real danger.

    • ScribblePouit

      Thank you, sleep is overrated anyway.

  • specialsymbol

    Ticks don’t fall off trees. Seriously. They don’t.

    • imwithstoopid

      No they jump onto you as you pass by, even if you’re running. Quick little buggers.

  • Robert

    Don’t forget termites. Little bastards cause more damage than all the others combined in monetary terms anyway. They suck.

  • @citysharkk

    I have been saying this for years bugs at disgusting annoying and worthless and by now humans should have destroyed them all.mosquitoes bed bugs and roaches and anything that bites.imagine driving down the highway doing 70mph and you hear the all to familiar whittle buzz of a mosquito in your ear….or your in bed after a long day and rite before closing your eyes you see a cockroach or bed bug crawling up the wall….and what’s with the kettle bug at the end of the article thought it was real…hideous.

  • marisheba

    So I’m curious Tim, where does the Poodle Moth fall? Silly insect or upsetting insect?

    (I don’t share your insect vendetta, but there is certainly a subset that I JUST CAN’T STAND, and moths ordinarily top the list. I think maybe this moth should be called the Evil Ewok Moth. It’s ALMOST adorable, except for those creepy killer eyes!!)

  • I’m late to the party, but I’ve also had a DEFCON 1 Life-Changing Bug Incident involving a clarinet mouthpiece, a house centipede, ALL THE LEGS, and a World Championship Finalist Wig-Out Dance.

  • Spiderman

    What if the new hobby of eating birds makes spiders evolve and become smart? http://www.livescience.com/24875-meat-human-brain.html

    • imwithstoopid

      What if eating the birds genes they evolve wings……..

  • Bob Roach

    Maybe it’s my name? (My mother’s maiden name is the Ukrainian word for mosquito too!)

    People gotta hate, I guess. But why bugs? As a designer I’m blown away by the whole bug-as-a-program-of-evolution thing. Do I want them in my house? Mostly not, but as a house ‘rule’ I don’t kill spiders. Or centipedes. These are bugs that control the levels of the bugs you really don’t want in your bed or cupboards. Sometimes they get stuck and I’ll rescue them from a bathtub or sink.

    Likewise for the totally lost: like big moths, wasps and bees, crane flies (the ones that look like giant mosquitoes). A cup, a piece of paper — open the door, and I’m once again assured a cushy council job once our insect overlords arrive.

    Unless they already have….

    It really is a location-context thing.

    A nest of yellow-jacket wasps invaded our bedroom when the landlord decided to ‘fix’ their outside entry hole one day. We woke that morning to the gentle sound of buzzing and the room covered with a lot of confused looking and potentially scary insects. Not helped by the bedroom carpet which had a pattern that made it almost impossible to spot them there.

    We tiptoed out of the house that morning — gingerly grabbing our baby daughter at the same time — and called the landlord who called in the pros to clear the place and get rid of the nest. I was the only one who got stung — while tying my shoe! (it was on one of the laces)

    But bugs as monsters? Certainly not when you compare their contribution to the natural environment vs our own.

    • imwithstoopid

      Have you EVER seen the Centipedes in Hawai’i, hell, they they can push you out of the bed.
      Only way to kill them is to dare to get close enough to cut off their head. Oh, and by the way they do bite, and it really, really hurts.
      Not only them but the Cane Spiders are big enough to carry you away after the Centipede pushes you off the bed.
      If that’s not bad enough then there is also the (LFA) Little Fire Ants that give lessons the the mainland fire ants, and they live in the trees so they can attack from the sky.
      Just a little exaggerated, but not much, so much for paradise.
      Did I forget mention that the mountains shoot fire at you?

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  • hjbhk

    One of those upsetting spiders was not even a spider.

    • imwithstoopid

      Once again, all it has to do is look like one to get sprayed with a full can of “kill them all” no matter what they are.

  • hjbhk

    That tarantula was not a tarantula.

    • imwithstoopid

      Yea, sure, like I care. Anything that big and that requires a blowtorch to kill it can be called anything as far as I am concerned, like WHAT THE HELL IS THAT…!!!!!!!!!!

  • lactobacillus

    I was always told that the large mosquitoes were the males and they didn’t suck blood. Only the females do.

    • Snowskeeper

      There are male mosquitoes, and they don’t suck blood–they’re entirely vegetarian–but the ones that are ten times the size aren’t them.

  • Genevieve

    1. Forgot one of my favorites, praying mantis…so cool. 2. I hope that spider didn’t get hurt when that guy was trying to trap it. 3. Maggots…baby bugs, are thee worst!

  • bionelly

    You forgot earwigs. I’m generally not that bothered by insects, and I’m even one of the “keep-the-spiders-so-they-can-eat-bugs” people (also praying mantises, which are a wonderful way to keep fruit- and vegetable-eating bugs out of your garden), but earwigs are one of the few things that will give me a panicky fear reaction like that. Hate isn’t even a strong enough word for how I feel about them.

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  • Chiel Wieringa

    You forgot to mention that an average human eats about 8 spiders a year while sleeping. (12 if you live countryside)

    • It’s been proven that the 8 spiders thing is a complete myth. There is no reason that a spider would ever want to be inside anyone’s mouth.

      • imwithstoopid

        Aw come on people did you have to bring that up, besides they could accidentally fall in while stalking your nose, or worse yet trying to find a facial orifice to live in.

  • Cheesus

    Another great addition to planet Earth, the tarantula hawk: http://blog.sandiegozooglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/tarantula-hawk1.jpg. This guy likes to paralyze a tarantula, drag it underground and lay an egg on it. When the egg hatches, the larva feeds on the paralyzed tarantula, but makes sure to eat all non-vital parts first to keep the spider alive as long as possible. Also, its sting is extremely painful, second only to that of the bullet ant.

  • Steve

    I love Bumblebees, they’re fuzzy and cute and have a good work ethic, and they play a Big Deal role in most of my favourite plants and food.

    I tried to keep wasps once but gave up after one too many escape attempts. Aside from blood-sucking bugs I’m pretty cool with insects, after all they’re pretty much of vital importance to the pleasant life on Earth we enjoy.

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  • noxteryn

    Moths are obsessed with light because they use the moon to navigate. Artificial lighting screws up their navigation. That’s why they keep circling light bulbs like mad.

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  • Sara

    The big question is, why the hell am I reading this just before going to bed?! Thanks for making me feel all kinds of itchy and grossed out… But good to know that there are more people like me. Thanks for that as well.

  • johnparker237

    The “big mosquitoes” are in fact crane flies.

    They freaked me out at summer camp when I was a kid, because of the resemblance to mosquitoes. I still don’t like them flying around me but once I learned what they are and realized that they don’t (indeed can’t) bite humans I stopped worrying about them so much. The larvae can be a problem for lawns, because they eat the roots. But the larvae of certain species also eat mosquito larvae, so again these flies are kind of a good news/bad news deal from a human standpoint. Overall like most insect species, there’s not much impact on humans.

    There are lots of biting insects Tim left out. Chiggers, Triatomine bugs, no-see-ums – one of those bit me recently and I panicked because I thought it was bedbugs, I couldn’t relax until I had killed one and identified it. The insect-borne diseases in Africa are unbelievable, the damage caused by the tsetse fly alone is enormous. And if you want to get into the truly horrifying aspects of this topic, google “loa loa eye worm”, but not anywhere near mealtime!

  • The image of the spider eating the bird will haunt my dreams forever. Thanks Tim…

  • Sugarmuffins

    Congratulations on killing my sense of safety.

  • Venbas

    You forgot to add Rats to the list not an insect but a true blue nasty that can go one up on most in this list…Being in a tropical city in the South of India I have had a fair share of insects in this list… But the one that freaked me out completely was the rat. I still have nightmares from my visit to an Uncles place when I was all of 10yrs. They had this nasty rat infestation in their house with rats running amok… But the worst part came at night when u are deep asleep… Those slimy scheming creatures used to chew through the top layer of the foot soles yes you read it right they were eating away the hind part of the leg… They were so darn good at it that we do not even get up in fright or pain no evidence or warning whatsoever …. And finally when morning came and you put your foot down on the floor there will be this excruciating pain coz a layer of skin was gone…. No stains of blood or deep gashes…I literally bolted from there cutting short vacation dreams… Boy was I happy when they shifted house later to a place where the rats were conspicuous by their absence…

    • Venbas

      And the scary part was that the rats used to bide their time and move to the next healthy foot with callous skin to eat…only to come back as soon as the skin has recovered enough on the already bitten soles…These assassin’s were so stealthy that hours of staying awake to keep your foot safe was not enough…they almost knew on cue the moment your eyelids shut…This happened in same year 1991 as in one of the pictures shown in this thread.

  • Nariya Tanoukhi-Bell

    The last GIF…

  • nysepete

    Funniest post by far — and also one I simply couldn’t finish and was mocked for at work for using a piece of paper to hide the photos while I was attempting to read the text around them.

  • nysepete

    You also left out a dubious one as far as classification – but I’m still curious what you think of… Dragonflies and Damsel Flies

  • littlelightbulb

    I cannot believe you classified reptiles as non-dickish. Reptiles are more dickish than insects, simple because they are bigger. And scaly. And have those weird tongues. And are poisonous (well, maybe not, but they look poisonous)

    I am deathly scared of lizards. Have you ever seen a lizard move? They are FAST. I will take any of these insects and arthropods over lizards anyday.

    Unless it’s a tarantula. Then I will run away screaming to another city while the lizard and tarantula battle for supremacy in my now deserted house.

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