Insects are hands down the most hated critters on the planet, many because they carry life-threatening diseases such as malaria, Lyme disease, and yellow fever. One particularly relevant disease is currently (early 2016) spreading rapidly and reaching pandemic levels in the Western Hemisphere. The Zika virus has existed for over half-a-century near the equator in Africa and Asia, but in 2013-14 the virus spread eastward to Oceania and other Pacific islands. By 2015, it had spread to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. Over 1.5 million Brazilians are already believed to be infected with the dengue fever-like infection and 3,500 babies have been born with underdeveloped brains, a condition known as microcephaly. This is the result of on of the most hated insects known to man.
Thankfully, that’s some of the worst of it. Many other critters on this list aren’t necessarily deadly to us but are definitely annoying. Some destroy our food and cost us millions of dollars each year. Some have incredibly painful stings with welts which can last for months at a time. And some swarm in groups easily numbering in the millions which can wipe out farmland (any plant matter, really) in a matter of days. Either way, we sure hate the bugs on this list and often do all we can to kill them or get them out of our homes. Sometimes we even do this by eating them, such as #12, #5, & #3. To see which creepy crawlies made it on the list, read on to see the top 25 Most Hated Insects Ever Known to Man.
Silverfish are some of the oldest creatures on the planet; their predecessors were the earliest insects, evolving over 400 million years ago. Contrary to popular opinion, silverfish do not bite humans and are more of a nuisance than a danger. The critters feed on starches and sugars and are often found by the little holes they leave in papers, clothes, and wallpapers. The little buggers are quite resilient, able to live for up to a year without eating and known to eat their own molted exoskeleton.
Asian Citrus Psyllid
Most people haven’t heard of the Asian citrus psyllid but that doesn’t make it any less of a pest to all we hold dear. Originating from southern Asia, this insect is one of the largest causes of citrus diseases and has been wiping out massive citrus groves across Florida & California. The past few years has seen the orange industry alone hit by $4 billion worth of dead trees.
A terror for dogs, cats, and humans alike, the flea is one of the most hated insects on Earth. Able to jump like a carnival performer, fleas can transfer a host of diseases including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and even tapeworms. Among the various methods for killing fleas, the bugs can be submerged in water for a full 24 hours. Any less and the critters may look dead but can still rise from the dead. Insect zombies…yikes.
Scientists have been shocked and unable to figure out the reason why one of our greatest allies – the bee – is disappearing. Despite pollinating at least 30% of our crops, the buzzing of bees and worry about their stingers still lead us to hate them. Even wasps – the bee’s genetic ancestor – hate the bugs and often raid hives. (Though we can agree with the bees that wasps are our real common enemy.) Despite our modern day feelings, the ancients were quite fond of bees, and the Aegeans even believed bees linked the living world with the afterlife.
One of the most impressive creatures on the planet, ants are immensely complex. Despite their small size, there are believed to be up to 22,000 species of ants which collectively make up 15-25% of the entire terrestrial animal biomass. That means that – adding up all the little buggers, sometimes in colonies of millions of ants – ants can constitute up to a quarter of the entire animal weight on our planet. With numbers like those and their tendency to expertly exploit resources, ants have become a nuisance in many of our homes.