Fun Bug Facts - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Fun Bug Facts

Voracious Eaters
Cockroaches will nibble on just about anything, from book-bindings to film to starched linen to leather.

Watch the Diet
German cockroaches can survive a whole month without food, but last less than two weeks without water.

Mothering Instincts
Under optimum conditions, one female cockroach can produce two million offspring in one year. An average breeding session produces 35,000 offspring.

Hear the Beat
A tiny biting midge or "no-seeum" (Forcipomyia) beats its hairy wings 62,760 times per minute.

Hurt the Ones You Love
In some species of praying mantis, the female begins to eat the male while they are still mating. She starts at the head and by the time she reaches his abdomen, mating is completed. Unintentionally the father becomes the supply of food for the bugs that are his offspring.

Twist & Shout
When provoked, the bombardier beetle swivels the tip of its abdomen and shoots a jet of boiling chemicals at its attacher. The chemicals are produced in a "reaction chamber" causing an explosion you can actually hear. The spray of foul-smelling, hot vapors shoots out at 500 to 1,000 pulses per second at a temperature of 100°C.

Damage Control
Termites do more than $750 million worth of damage in the U.S. every year, with much of that damage occuring in Florida. That's more than all the fires, storms and earthquakes, combined.

Insect Alarm
Be careful to never squash a yellowjacket near its nest. A dying yellowjacket releases an alarm pheromone that calls its comrades to action. Within 15 seconds, yellowjackets within a 15 foot area will rally to the victim's aid.

Beauty is Only Skin Deep
The beautiful, iridescent colors of butterfly wings are a result of the way the tiny over-lapping scales covering the wings reflect light. The beauty is dependent on structure, not pigment.

The Long and the Short of It
The largest known butterfly, Queen Alexandra's Birdwing of New Guinea, has a wingspan of about 11 inches. The smallest with a wingspan of only 1/2 inch is the Dwarf Blue from Africa.

I'm a Traveling Man
Most Monarch butterflies spend the winter in Mexico - where 14 million Monarchs cluster on branches and tree trunks in an area that measures only 140 yards wide. Their round-trip vacation from North America to Mexico measures 2,500 miles.

Don't Stand Out in a Crowd
Natural evolution protects some caterpillars from becoming bird food. Some look like bird droppings and others disguise themselves as twigs or by blending in with the leaves.

Hibernation Plus
The periodical cicadas of the eastern U.S. spend between 13 and 17 years below ground as nymphs, feeding on tree roots. Then all at once, they emerge above ground, change into adults, mate, lay eggs and die. The next generation shows up over a decade later.

Mother May I
For most of a year, female aphids produce young without mating. Eggs develop into small daughters inside of the mother; and inside each daughter, eggs are also begin to develop. When the mother gives birth to her daughters, her granddaughters are already on the way.

Home Remedies
Discorides Pedanius, a Greek who doctored the Roman army during Nero's reign (54-68 AD) believed that cockroach entrails mixed with oil and stuffed into the ear could cure earaches.

One Plus One Equals
With optimal conditions, two mice who begin mating on January 1 could have 31,000 offspring by New Year's Eve. Each mouse has six letters a year, with six young in each litter. Half the litter is female and from birth it takes just 54 days for the mouse to give birth herself. After the first litter is born, it takes just 60 days for the females to reproduce again.

One Plus One Plus One Equals
Not to be outdone, two cockroaches beginning on New Years Day will have 575,000 offspring by December 31. Mathematically it goes like this: 30 eggs per egg capsule; 30 days for each capsule to hatch; 60 days to maturity when the new cockroaches can begin to breed.

The Heavyweight Champ
The Goliath beetle of Africa is considered the heaviest flying insect weighing over 3.5 ounces.

The Long & Short of It
The tropical stick insect is the longest insect recorded, measuring 13 inches from end to end. The shortest are fairyflies, wasps that parasitize the eggs of insects, measuring less than .01 inch.

Long Live the Queen
Queens of some species of termites are reported to live for 50 years, although the life spans generally are closer to 15.

Article provided by The Florida Pest Management Association*

*The Florida Pest Management Association is a member-driven, non-profit organization serving as the primary source of industry information on important issues and business concerns since 1945. It is one of the largest state trade associations of it kind in the U.S. with over 1,200 active members.

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