I’m not sure what percentage I make up of the global population, or the national population, hell, the population of my city of people who ‘love bugs.’ I know that it is a small population (except for maybe entomologists) of strange and odd folks and I am one of them.
When I was little, like most children, I was terrified of bugs. More so, I was terrified of worms. My mother would take my sister and me fishing and I refused to bait the hook. Worms were slimy, shiny appendage-less aliens who wanted to suck my blood.
That was my theory.
I would scream if I saw a shad roach (water bug) in our kitchen (we lived close to the corner and sewer so we got a lot of them). My mother nick named them ‘six dirty feet’ to make it a little more amusing. Still, I hated those little shiny, black bastards and their damned feet.
Now, I can’t say I would welcome ‘six dirty feet’ of any kind into my home (shad roaches, cockroaches) because to me, those bugs represent dirt and dampness and my childhood and early years of my first marriage (things I would like to forget, thank you very much).
Spiders, stinkbugs, odd-looking bugs, caterpillars, moths, beetles, leaf bugs, cicadas… all those dudes. I love them. I pick them up and inspect them. I love Praying Manti as well, but I am also a stickler for superstition and will not disturb one unless it is unavoidable. Still, my nerves get the best of me.
Should I save a praying mantis or be doomed for all eternity?
These are the types of questions that permeate my mind on a grand level.
But I digress.
We need bugs. The earth and all its occupants need six footed, eight footed, even thousand legged Hemiptera of all sorts because they help us more than we know. They sustain life for other critters. Honestly, everything on this planet helps everything else.
It’s funny… everything on this planet could live without humans, but humans could not live without everything on this planet.
It kind of saddens me that so many people fear bugs and I think so many people fear bugs because they were taught to fear bugs.
Why are you afraid of bugs?
a) because they creep me out, man.
b) because they are ugly and gross.
c) I don’t know, I just am. Isn’t everyone?
d) because my dad screams bloody hell and jumps around like a disco mouse when he sees one… and… isn’t that normal?
These are some common answers when asked. I get it, I really do. Bugs are creepy little critters that can show up in the darndest places and leave a person thinking, ‘how did you get here little guy?’ or grabbing matches and a can of hairspray and torching the whole place to the ground.
Is there an in between? Yes, there is. Freaking out over bugs is what a lot of people do… but before you go burning your house down or driving your car off a cliff, know that most bugs aren’t interested in you. Some are, but the ones that scare the hell out of you most likely are not.
The only bugs that are interested in you are:
Ticks, Fleas, Mosquitoes, Flies, Bed Bugs and Lice. Four of these five live exclusively by drinking blood (flies eat other stuff). These are bugs that I don’t like… these bugs are parasites that need a host to live but there are ways to keep them away from your person and your belongings.
So, good luck out there! It is summertime which means lots and lots of buggies! Keep yourself prepared for the pesky ones (in the picture above) and remember all the other ones aren’t interested in anything you have to do or say.