We all have encountered different kinds of insects, crawling, and flying ones. We also have lists of those insects we never want to come across ever again. Why? Do you find them gross? Do they terrify you? Are you afraid they will hurt you?
Of the more than nine hundred thousand kinds of living and known insects here on earth, we only have run into a few, and they are mostly harmless. Here is a list of some of the grossest and most terrifying living insects; the ones you don’t want to see in person.
The name earwig comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning ear creature. Ancient superstition was that this insect would crawl into sleeping people’s ears.
The earwig’s measurements vary from 5 to 50 mm in length, and they appear flat and slender, with a shiny dark-colored covering. It has over 2000 species from 12 different families, some of which can be identified by its sizes.
The king of spiders. This Goliath Birdeater weighs up to six ounces and can have a span of nearly one-foot. This tarantula is the largest arachnid on earth. Carnivorous in nature, it has a life span of 20 years for females and 3 to 6 years for males. These Goliaths don’t usually eat birds, but they are big enough to be able to—and they do, occasionally.
They tend to hide in swampy areas. If this tarantula is intimidated by you, they may start to “hiss” – a defensive sound to scare away predators. If you listen and back off, it is unlikely to bite you as they usually do so only in self-defense.
Botflies are hairy and as twice as big as regular flies. What makes Botflies terrifying is that they lay their eggs on mosquitoes. When those mosquitos land on a person’s skin, the larvae, once hatched, can invade the human host’s skin. Larva can then continue its way to the muscles, leaving a sore around the hole they made in the skin. What’s really disturbing is that infected people reported feeling and even hearing the maggots moving. Surgery is often necessary to remove the organisms from inside the host’s body.
Colonies of bullet ants belong to Formicidae Family. They are known for their extremely painful stings. The average size of a bullet ant is between 0.7 to 1.2 inches long. Unlike other species of ants, their queen isn’t much larger than the workers. ‘
A sting from a bullet ant has been compared to the pain of being shot by a gun.
This large, predatory, and fearsome Arthropod is native to South America and the Caribbean forests. It is very capable of catching and killing animals.
These giants have specific techniques for catching particular prey. They can grow up to 12 inches and can be in various colors- red, yellow, brown, or black, with yellow legs and dark stripes between body segments.
There are two to three dozen species of these blood-sucking flies in the housefly family. They live only in Africa and transmit sleeping sickness called African trypanosomiasis to humans and a similar disease called nagana to domestic animals.
Tsetse flies have been on the planet for at least 34 million years in unchanged form. They are often active during the hottest part of the day. They use their proboscis- a mouth apparatus shaped like a blade to penetrate the skin and facilitate the sucking of blood.
This bug is a real giant, the largest insect in Hemiptera order. They are approximately 5 inches in length and usually found in South America. However, not all Giant water bugs are giants. Some species can measure less than a centimeter long.
Every time a female Giant water bug lays eggs, they glue them onto their mates back until they hatch. They use their front legs to grasp their prey. They are natural Carnivores. Fun fact, these insects are being cooked in some Asian Countries and are considered as exotic foods.
Another one from the order Hemiptera. Cicadas are not as big as the Giant Water bug; however, they have amazingly long lifecycles lasting as long as 17 years. There are more than 3,000 species of Cicadas.
They have stout bodies, broad heads, clear-membraned wings, and large compound eyes. Cicadas are known for their buzzing and clicking noises that can be amplified by multitudes of insects into an overpowering hum. A fun fact about this insect is that some species of these insects can register sounds louder than an approaching subway train when calling for potential mates.
Parktown prawns are not really prawns from the sea but are the king of crickets. With length ranging from 6 to 7 cm, and some even bigger than that, it is easily identifiable.
Though these enormous crickets look terrifying, they can help taking care of your garden. They feed themselves with pests such as moth larvae, slugs, and even snails. They were believed to give fortune to people who have them.
They are actually not ants, but wasps commonly known as Velvet Ants. Female Cow Killer ants are wingless and often have bright red, brown, orange, or white hair color.
The male ones have wings, yet they have no stingers, while females have stingers but not wings. These wasps are sexually dimorphic. Cow Killer Ants possesses one of the largest and powerful stings in Hymenopteran insects.
Also known as spider-hunting wasps. Tarantula Hawks have an average length of 2 inches. They are a group of solitary wasps who prefer to be alone in their burrows. Tarantula hawks hunt tarantulas, but some adults feed only nectars from flowers.
These spiders are considered to be some of the most venomous. The female ones are the scariest. They tend to eat their mates. Cannibals! Females are as twice as big as the males. Female black widows have unique shiny black bodies, with hourglass-shaped markings on their abdomen’s underside, says Jo-Anne Nina Sewlal, an Arachnologist.
Males, however, have a lighter color, with red or pink spots on their backs. They inhabit temperate regions throughout the world. They make their homes in dark, dry spaces.
How would you like to find this crawling in your bed? This beetle, the size of a human hand lives in the Amazon rain forest. This giant has mandibles strong enough to snap a pencil. There are reports that these beetles have ripped into human flesh as well.
These giants live in New Zealand and look worse than they are. The origin of their name comes from “giant grasshopper.” Despite their terrifying size, these insects are quite passive. Even if it wouldn’t hurt you, you probably want to steer clear.
They often say small ones are the terrible ones and indeed it’s true. These very tiny parasites are terrifying. They inhabit warm-blooded animals, where they can feed themselves with blood. They can also be found on shoes, pant legs, or blankets.
Fleas spread the Bubonic Plague. Flea saliva is an allergen that causes allergic reactions in their prey. Flea bites can cause painful and itchy red bumps.
This cutely named bug is not as cute as it sounds. It is one of the diseases carrying bugs. It sucks its prey’s blood and could spread parasites causing Chagas Disease.
Its favorite spot to bite is the face, mostly near the eyes and mouth.
We all are acquainted with mosquitoes. We all know how these creatures can spread diseases that can probably end our lives. Fun fact, mosquitoes are most attracted to Carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and octenol found in our sweat and breath.
Around 3,500 species of mosquitoes are roaming around this planet. Female mosquitoes are the ones responsible for biting you. Female mosquito saliva contains anti-coagulant that makes it easy to suck the blood from her victim.
Originally coming from the Mediterranean region, these bugs have scattered across the world. House centipedes can be found anywhere now and have an average length of 25-35 mm.
These insects feed themselves with other insects such as flies, mosquitoes, and bugs. These creepy crawlers can crawl fast with their 15 pairs of legs. They are yellowish-gray and have stripes down the length of their body and their legs.
Giant Japanese Hornets are the largest known hornets in the world. They are native to temperate and tropical East, South, and Mainland Asia, and also some parts of the Russian Far East. They prefer to live in the mountains and forests. Its length can reach up to 45 mm, a wingspan around 75 mm wide, and a stinger 6 mm long.
They eat other insects, colonies of other eusocial insects, and also tree sap and honey. Just like other eusocial insects, they have queens and workers. Their stinger contains potent venom that can cause death, earning them the nickname “murder hornet.”
These insects are nocturnal. During the day, they camouflage with plants and stay motionless. They feed themselves with leaves. They inhabit the humid rainforest, where they can be found in foliage and ground litters.
They are wingless and are armored with spines on their body and legs. Males are smaller than females. Males have distinctive hind leg femurs, with curved spines below, large enough to be used as fish hooks.
And that’s all for the 20 Grossest, and Scariest Living Insects found on earth. These insects look terrifying, but many of them serve important purposes in our ecosystem. If you come across one of them, don’t hurt it! (but maybe run!)