For kids who love animals by a kid who loves animals
Recently, I have been reading this awesome book called Wicked Bugs. Indeed the title stays true to the book. It is about the nastier side of bugs (no ladybugs or honeybees here folks!)
Wicked Bugs is a non-fiction book with no real plot or story (that’s the best kind). It’s a great learning experience for anyone with a love of violent bugs, although Wicked Bugs is not for the faint of heart. Wicked Bugs has me nearly convinced there is some kind of monster the size of a piece of rice dwelling under my bed.
I simply have to do this book justice by mentioning some of the bugs that caught my eye. (Caught my eye? More like had me sitting there, mouth open, wondering how something the size of a pea is so dangerous.)
Some bugs have strength in numbers; some gain strength from smarts, while others rely on natural adaptations.
Some bugs just come out at full force, ready to smash their face into yours until somebody dies. That is the case with the Asian Giant Hornet. They can be five centimeters tall. People have described being stung by them like “having a hot nail through my leg.” Ouch. Not only do they treat humans with this “get out of my face attitude”, but they also shred other bees to pieces. Just thirty of these hornets can kill thirty THOUSAND bees.
Remember those gross bugs that at least someone in your class has probably gotten bitten by? You know, Assassin bugs? People used to (and may still today) use bugs in war, and one of the favorites were Assassin bugs. If you didn’t want to kill your hostage of war, but make them weak and wish they were dead, who did you turn to? Assassin bugs. They would bound you up and fling you in a pit full of the things. You couldn’t move, so you just sat there in what must have been a most uncomfortable experience. Eventually, you probably would die, but most captors were smart enough to keep you alive somehow. Assassin bugs normally come out at night when you are sleeping and suck the blood from the space around your lips. If you get a weird bump on your mouth one morning, the culprit is probably one of them.
Last but certainly not least, we have the Phorid fly. The fly may be the solution to the fire ant overpopulation, because of its vicious capacity to kill. It lays eggs on a fire ant, and the little Phorid flies eat the fire ant’s brain. Then, the fire ant wanders around for a couple of weeks doing nothing until its head falls off, and the fire ant finally dies. Then the full grown Phorid flies fly off and kill any fire ant they stumble upon.
So there you have it. Who knew something so cute and innocent looking could kill things in such a horrible way?
One of the things I think makes this book so charming is the fact that, for the most part, the author doesn’t treat the bugs like monsters. It gives reasoning for the choices each bugs makes and why it did that. Honestly, it makes sense. I mean, every single bug in thing book has a reason for doing what they did.
The AsIan Giant Hornet killed the bees for food.
The Assassin bugs also need blood to survive.
The Phorid fly has to have a way to reproduce.
I am not saying what the bugs did isn’t gross, but there is a bit of reasoning behind it, which humans cannot always claim. I have something to take away from this book: You never know when the cute little ant you’re frying with a magnifying glass will rise up and eat you.