Ask most kids and they’ll tell you they LOVE bugs. Some love them so much they even eat them. But ask them again a few years later and most of them go ‘eeeeewwwwww’. So what changes? I’m pretty sure it’s not the bugs – so what’s the problem?
I adore bugs. Obviously I missed a developmental stage – I still find them fascinating and even cute. Most adults don’t agree with me, and it seems like people change their minds around 11 or 12. I think this is when they realise it’s not cool any more…
This makes me sad. Surely it’s miserable enough being 11 or 12 without abandoning a small source of joy? Especially if you’re turning your back on bugs for the rest of your life. There are plenty of reasons to rediscover your childhood love of bugs…
1. Bugs are weird
Everyone is fascinated by freaky stuff, and bugs are a perfect source of almost unbelievable facts. How about wasps that turn cockroaches into paralysed zombies to feed their young? The cockroaches are buried with the wasp larvae, who slowly eat them alive. What? That’s not inspiring warm and fuzzy feelings? Well then read on…
2. Bugs are cute
Bumble bees have got to be some of the cutest creatures in the world. They’re small and furry, they make honey, and when they fly they look a bit inept. What’s not to love?
3. Bugs have superpowers
Ants are super-strong, and spiders can make silk that’s as strong as steel. Male moths can detect tiny traces of females’ scent in the air, and fireflies have light-up bums. Bugs are tiny superheroes!
4. Bugs are useful
We need bugs – to clean up our mess and to pollinate our crops. Without them, the food chains that we sit on top of would collapse. And they have plenty of other uses – such as helping out in murder investigations.
5. Bugs are super-successful
We’ve only been around for about 100,000 years – that just looks embarassing next to the insects’ 400 million years. 80% of all known species on Earth are insects. And a fifth of all animals are beetles – biologist J. B. S. Haldane is supposed to have said that ‘the Creator, if he exists, has an inordinate fondness for beetles’. Bugs were here way before us and they’ll be here long after we’re all gone.
Bugs are generally pretty great. So great, in fact, that they don’t really need our admiration. They’ll get along fine without it. But I think they deserve some credit for being absolutely amazing. Luckily you don’t have to look far to be amazed.