Most Hated Insects By Man But Yet Beneficial


Praying Mantis


Source: Animal Behaviour, Image: Wikimedia

Though the praying mantis is just a nickname, the mantis order covers over 2,400 species. Male mantises have a reason to hate mantis-kind as their females sometimes eat their males after intercourse. Some females even knock the male’s head off before they start mating. (It’s important to note that this behavior is not necessarily typical and is most frequently observed with Mantis in captivity).




Source: Bignell, David Edward; Roisin, Yves; Lo, Nathan (2010). Biology of Termites: a Modern Synthesis, Image: Wikimedia

Though useful when breaking down decaying plant matter, termites can be invasive when they infiltrate wood houses and structures. Sometimes living in colonies numbering in the millions, termites are known as superorganisms because they actively work together for the greater good of the collective. Termites are also incredibly resilient, with termite queens having lifespans up to 50 years – the longest in the insect world.


Stink Bug

brown marmorated stink bug

Source: Michael Chinery (1993). Insects of Britain & Western Europe., Image: Wikipedia

Sometimes known as a shield bug due to its trapezoidal shape, the Pentatomidae family of insects are better known for another trait: their stink. When provoked or disturbed, this insect shoots out chemicals that smell like coriander from pores in its rear. Some species are so rancid that the substance includes cyanide, giving it a putrid almond scent. Despite the strong smells, some people in Laos eat them in a paste made of chilies, herbs, and stink bugs.




Source: Snopes, Image: Wikipedia

Though their hind pincers can seem pretty terrifying, earwigs are actually not a threat to humans. A frequently perpetuated myth claims earwigs burrow through the human ear canal and lay eggs in the brain. Lucky for us, it’s not actually possible for an insect to burrow into our skull and lay eggs.




Source: New York Times & Capinera, John L. (2008). Encyclopedia of Entomology: Desert locust plagues., Image: Wikimedia

Though grasshoppers are herbivores, their rapid jumping and swarm behavior earn them a spot on our list of the most hated insects known to man. When grasshoppers organize into swarms, they are called locusts (which have been referenced in the Koran and the Bible as the cause of cholera epidemics). Millions of grasshoppers can swarm at one time and quickly eradicate all plant life in an area. The largest locust swarm was recorded in 1875 at a whopping 1,800 miles (2,900 km) long and 100 miles (180 km) wide.



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