Household vermin are known for causing untold amounts of misery. From biting us, to contaminating our food, to spreading diseases, these creatures can be a major headache. That being said, there are things about them which can be appreciated. In fact, many pests are utterly fascinating. For example, here are 10 mind blowing facts about household pests that may surprise you.
1. Cockroaches can live without their heads
Cockroaches are known as one of nature’s hardiest pests. They can survive for long periods in almost any environment. In fact, these bugs can even survive the radiation from a nuclear blast. But what’s one of the most fascinating facts about cockroaches, is that a cockroach can live for a week without its head. The only reason why the cockroach eventually dies is because, without a mouth, it cannot drink water.
2. Ants cannot chew
Ants are also highly fascinating insects. Everyone knows they can lift hundreds of times their bodyweight. But what’s also cool about ants is that they do not actually chew their food. Instead, ants move their jaws in a scissor motion. This allows them to grind up food and extract juices from it.
3. Rats destroy food
Anyone who has dealt with rats will know they cause enormous damage. This includes contaminating food. What’s scary is that these pests destroy enough food to feed more than two hundred million people per year. Some urban areas are managing to become relatively rat free zones although UK cities like London are not among them.
4. Crickets hear through their knees
Crickets are known for their melodious nighttime mating calls. Another interesting fact about these insects is that they actually hear through their knees.
5. Why bugs crunch
One of the common stereotypes about bugs is that they crunch when stepped on. But why does this happen? The reason is simply because bugs have exoskeletons, i.e. their skeleton is on the outside of their body.
6. Fleas can hibernate for months
It’s possible to get a flea infestation even in an empty house. This is because fleas are capable of going into a type of hibernation when there is no food available. They come out of this hibernation once they sense vibrations and can small carbon monoxide. This lets them know that food is present.
7. Mice have the longest tails
Mice are known for their extremely long tails. These pests have tails as long, and sometimes longer, than their body. These pests can also eat up to 15-30 times per day. There are dozens of more interesting facts about mice. For example, did you know they can squeeze through a gap the size of a coin? Not only that, mice can also jump more than a foot into the air.
8. Spider coupling
Spiders have an unusual way to attract mates. Many pests use mating calls to attract partners. On the other hand, spiders will pluck their web the way you would a guitar string. This causes vibrations which attracts female spiders.
9. Bed bugs are transparent
Bed bugs are extremely difficult to get rid of by yourself, says bed bug control expert Glen Stanford of Diamond Pest Control in London. The reason why bed bugs can be so difficult to find, continues, is because they are often practically invisible to the untrained eye. These bugs have a flat body which is almost completely transparent. They only become fully visible after feeding, at which point they turn a dark brown, reddish shade.
10. The most ancient pests
Silverfish are those small silver coloured insects which are sometimes seen on carpets. What’s interesting about these bugs are that they are one of the most ancient insects on planet earth. Silverfish are thought to have evolved more than 400 million years ago, making them even older than cockroaches.