Most kids and adults will agree—the great outdoors are, indeed, great. And while everyone appreciates sunshine, hair-tussling breezes and nature’s beauty, not everyone wants to be out there in it because of one simple thing … THE BUGS!
My daughter was one such person. She wanted to go out and play and explore but, “Wait! Is that a spider? And the gnats! I see so many gnats and ohmygoodness!!! I just know there are bees out there and definitely mosquitos, and I’ll just play a game inside instead,” she would say. We’ve been working on her bug-aversion for years (she’s 8), and it’s much improved, thanks to making insects, spiders and all creepy-crawlies way less creepy with fun facts like these.
1. Spiders love to eat.
One spider can eat over 2,000 insects a year, so thanks to them, there are actually fewer bugs in your yard or house.
2. Grasshoppers have crazy body parts.
Grasshoppers have ears on their bellies and special organs in their hind legs that store energy for jumping. A grasshopper’s jump is so far, it would be like your mom or dad jumping the length of a basketball court.
3. Bugs are older than dinosaurs.
Insects were the first thing on Earth to make and hear sound and have been around for over 400 million years.
4. Bugs live pretty much everywhere.
Bugs can live in even the hottest and coldest parts of Earth, but there is one place you’ll rarely see them—the ocean.
5. Bees have hair in weird places.
Honey bees have hair on their eyes called setae that help them navigate.
6. Ants are crazy strong.
Ants can lift 100 times their weight. That’s like you lifting and carrying around a dump trunk.
7. Dragonflies are powered by the sun.
Next time you see a dragonfly, keep a close eye on it. They need warmth to fly and often land when the sun goes behind a cloud. Also, they love to eat mosquitos!
8. Fireflies light up for a reason.
Fireflies light up as a way to talk to each other, but not all of them can produce light. Wanna know if a firefly is a boy or a girl? Next time you see them out at night, follow one with your eye and count the seconds that pass in between it lighting up – males flash about every 5 seconds while females flash about every 2 seconds.
9. Pill bugs are similar to sea creatures.
Pill bugs, or rollie pollie bugs, are related to shrimp and breath with gills, like fish, which is why they live in moist areas.
10. Crickets are like weather forecasters.
Not only are crickets thought to bring good luck in many parts of the world, they’re also thought to tell the weather with their chirps. Next time you hear one, count the number of chirps it makes in one minute, divide by 4 and then add the number 40 to reach the outside temperature.
11. Ladybugs have been in space.
In July of 1999, four ladybugs and their favorite food, aphids, were sent into space on NASA’s Columbia space shuttle to research how aphids escaped the ladybugs without the aid of gravity.
12. Beetles make great pets. (Yes pets, not pests.)
Beetles are a popular pet in Japan, especially the stag beetle, and can easily be purchased in many different stores.
13. Bee stings have benefits.
Bee stings are harmless for most people. Although stings hurt or itch temporarily, they can actually be beneficial – bee venom has successfully been used in shots to treat diseases such as multiple sclerosis, tendonitis and arthritis.
14. Spiders spin amazing silk.
The silk that comes out of the spider’s spinneret is liquid, but it hardens as soon as it comes in contact with air and becomes incredibly strong. Some say it’s the strongest fiber known to man and is even five times stronger than steel.
15. Termites like heavy metal music.
Termites chew through wood faster when they hear rock music due to the vibrations it makes.