Insect Minutia

Telling trivia about tiny trouble-makers
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Of the huge numbers of insects, only a tiny amount, one percent, are harmful to humans. Most insects are harmless or actually beneficial. For example, without bees to pollinate flowers, plants would not have a way of reproducing and we wouldn’t have anything to eat! The desert locust is the world’s most destructive insect. It can eat its own weight in food every day. Large swarms can gobble up to 20,000 tons of grain and plants every day but a person eats his own body weight in about half a year!

There may be as many as 3,000 different kinds of insects – more than all the other animal and plant species combined. About 80% of the Earth’s animals are insects with the weight of all termites in the world outweighing the weight of all humans 10 to 1. The earliest fossil cockroach is about 280 million years old. That is 80 million years older than the first dinosaurs.

Side-effects from a sting

Some fascinating facts about insects: The black widow’s poison is 15 times deadlier than a rattle snake. A cockroach can live for up to three weeks without its head. The mayfly only lives for 8 hours while the average housefly lives for one month. The honeybee has to travel an average of 43,000 miles to collect enough nectar to make a pound of honey. A Mosquito flaps its wings 50 times a second and out of every 1,000 mosquitoes, one female carries a disease that could be fatal to humans.

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