Friday, November 8, 2013

What Really Bugs Me

This post brought to you by The Orkin Ecologist. All opinions are 100% mine.

Where can you learn how to build a butterfly garden,locate bug-themed online apps for the grandchildren and read about the world’s scariest bugs?  The answer is The Orkin Ecologist, a site that shares Orkin's extensive knowledge of insects.   Its an interesting site and well worth visiting.
When it comes to insects, I'm a middle of the road type.  I don't like finding a spider or ant in my home, but I don't scream, jump onto a chair or dial 911.  There is, of course, an exception to every rule.  My exception is the cockroach.

Just looking at a picture of a coackroach sends chills up my spine. I'm sure I have plenty of company.    I found this pic on morgueFile, a site that offers tons of free photos of everything imaginable. There were only a few pictures of cockroaches, however.  That didn't surprise me.  Many kids enjoy  an ant farm, lots of adults have bee hives and I even have a friend, who is fascinated by spiders.  I've never met anyone, however, who enjoyed cockroaches, much less takes pictures of them.  I was confident that they would top the scary bug list.  With a sense of foreboding akin to reading a horror story, I followed the link and started to read.  By the time I'd finished, I had learned about bullet ants, whose painful stings are likened to gunshot wounds, a giant spider that feeds on birds,  and a Japanese hornet with a stinger over a half-inch long.   While they looked and sounded scary, I have to admit that I found the article fascinating.  To my surprise, the cockroach never made the list.  I was actually disappointed.  Perhaps if I learned more about them, it would help me cope with my katsaridaphobia.  That's the fancy name for fear of cockroaches, according to The Orkin Ecologist article on the top ten bug phobias.  (I just knew they had to be on some list!)

I wondered if cockroaches served any useful purposes.  According to the Chinese, they do.   Ground roaches are sold for $90 per pound and are used as medicinal treatments for ailments as diverse as tuberculosis, breast cancer and cirrhosis.  They are also used by cosmetic companies.  Think about that the next time you powder your nose!   Fried cockroaches are served in restaurants and considered a very tasty source of protein. This is no fad.  Millions of cockroaches are  raised on roach farms, yet supply still lags behind the demand.  Not all Chinese love them however.  A number of farms have had escapees, which have infested neighboring homes and businesses.  Farm owners, however, praise their beautiful shiny shells and their strong survival skills.
I must confess that as I learned more, my curiosity outweighed my repulsion.   I don't want to see them near my home.  I don't plan on substituting them for my deep-fried shrimp.  Maybe, just maybe, I will take a closer look at the hissing cockroach display the next time I visit the zoo.  Those guys are behind glass and I haven't heard of any escapes.  It's a start.

I may not be sold on cockroaches, but I am sold on The Orkin Ecologist.    Once I started, I couldn't stop reading.  What bug has biological gears that make it an expert jumper?  Visit The Orkin Ecologist on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TheOrkinEcologist)  to find the answer.  I bet you'lll Like it.  I know I did.  For even more buggy fun, you should check out their Pinterest boards ( http://www.pinterest.com/orkin/), which include everything from the science of bugs to buggy crafts.

How's your relationship with the insect world?  Does any particular insect make you #BugOut?  Leave a comment and let us know.
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