While the big animals – think elephants, giraffes, or lions – may grab all of the headlines at a zoo, some of the smallest creatures on earth can be just as interesting. The caterpillar that turns into a butterfly, for example, is a much more compelling specimen than a rhino. That horned beast doesn’t even go through a metamorphosis!
Of course, we could be biased, but we find bugs fascinating! It’s one of the reasons The Bug Man is so good at what we do. We spend the time to learn about the bugs, what the look for in a habitat, and what they want to avoid. That way we can create specifically designed integrated pest management to remove them from the home.
A few of these bugs probably won’t find their way into your home, but we still think they’re kind of neat. Let’s take a look at some of Washington State’s most fascinating bugs:
The Devil’s Coach Horse
What a name! Also referred to as the Devil’s Footman, Coachman, or Steed, this member of the beetle family can pack quite a punch. Although there is no stinger, you’ll definitely feel it if it bites you with its powerful jaws. If that wasn’t enough, it has two glands near the back of the abdomen to blast you with an unpleasant odor. Maybe The Devil’s Skunk is a more appropriate name.
The larva looks a little like the end of a rattlesnake tail with several visible segments. When grown, it can look a bit like a scorpion when threatened. The head is unmistakable: large with pincers on each side, used to tear into prey. These bugs feed on worms, spiders, slugs, and the decaying flesh od dead animals.
Named after their somewhat metallic “finish,” silverfish are common pests in the State of Washington. Their tastes are eclectic – eating everything from fabric to book bindings to different kinds of adhesives. However, in some cases, they pick up after themselves, eating the very exoskeleton they just molted. Considerate!
Which can keep them busy. Silverfish are one of the few insects that continues to molt even after reaching adulthood. Nits are white and look like small adults. The color changes to a more grayish color in adulthood. Bodies are long and slender, with protrusions at the end of the abdomen, two compound eyes, and two antennae. In fact, silverfish are the only insects in their order (Zygentoma) with eyes at all.
These little buggers make the list because of their maternal instinct, a trait rare in the insect world. Looking over the eggs, earwigs may also tend to the nymphs during their first two molts. Kind of endearing really – who doesn’t like a heart-warming story about family togetherness?
Other than that, they are kind of creepy looking, with large pincers at the end of their abdomen. Old wives tales about these bugs burrowing into the human brain to lay their eggs certainly don’t help matters, either. Sure, an earwig may find their way into an ear or two, but it isn’t their intended purpose to do so.
Metallic Wood Boring Beetle
We thought we’d end the list on a little bit of a lighter note. Or, more specifically, how light can affect the appearance of the metallic wood-boring beetle. For the most part, they look like beetles, with wide, flat bodies. What makes these insects different is the wide range of iridescent colors that seem painted on.
However, the beetles themselves aren’t that colorful. It turns out the ridges on the top of the exoskeleton only refract certain colors. So you aren’t seeing the color of the beetle, but rather the light they reflect back. Intriguing! Other than that, they are a terrible blight on trees in Washington State, boring into dead or dying wood and laying eggs that kill trees from the inside out. Not that pretty after all.
So those are a few of the most fascinating bugs you’ll find in Washington State. Each has their own interesting story, temperament, and quirks, but each is also part of the greater ecological community. While the Bug Man is in the market of ridding your home of these bugs, they each serve a purpose in the Pacific Northwest.
That’s why it’s so important that instead of eradicating all bugs, we take steps to protect your home and keep the bugs away. If all insects were to vanish, our environment would look much different, and not for the better. For more information about our pest control process, feel free to reach out. We look forward to hearing from you.