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The Grossest Bugs on Earth

List Criteria: Only arthropods that are actually shuddery-gross... not necessarily scary or dangerous.

I love insects. I do. I fear spiders, but I respect them and try not to let my fear control me when I see one. However, there are bugs that are simply gross. Just really, really gross. Not just ugly (though, definitely ugly), but also nasty in their habits and their behavior. These are the grossest bugs in the world. I know I've left some off the list, so go ahead and add any I've missed. Vote up the nastiest of the nasty.

These aren't the scariest bugs you'll ever happen across, though some might give you a fright. These little dudes are just super gross - the grossest, nastiest bugs ever.

The Grossest Bugs on Earth Anything
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    Cattle Tick


    Oh jeez. This list is seriously making me gag. Ticks are bad enough, their whole nasty family of bloodsucking disease-carriers... but Cattle Ticks? If any of you have ever spent any time around livestock, you know what I mean. Horses, sheep and cattle... you'll be walking by or maybe grooming a horse and GAAAAHHHH! It's the size of a grape. A GRAPE! and it's all white and giant, and filled with blood. 

    And you have to get some horseshoe tongs or something and pull it off and... ok, I'm totally traumatized now. This is why I am not living on a ranch right now, people. 

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    Shudder. It's like a cross between two of the most creepy things - spiders and centipedes. 

    House centipedes actually feed on spiders, bed bugs, termites, cockroaches, silverfish, ants, and other things we hate in our house. Too bad they are almost worse. It turns out that the thing that's the most creepy about them, their gazillion long legs, is how they administer their venom! GAH! So strictly speaking they sting rather than bite and they tend to do it at night. When the centipede is in danger of becoming prey itself, it can detach any legs that have become trapped. 

    Of course it can.

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    Camel Spider



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    Cave Spider

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    Also known as the Tailless Whip Scorpion, this is neither a spider nor a scorpion. But it sure the @$#%#$% is terrifying.

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    There must be something about a shiny carapace, right? Or maybe it's those little moving pincher things on the butt, which they use to capture and hold prey.

    Their gross name may be related to the old wives' tale that earwigs burrowed into the brains of humans through the ear and laid their eggs there. Earwigs like hiding in warm humid crevices and I suppose nothing is stopping thrm from occasionally crawling into the human ear canal (much like any other small organism). Not that I've ever heard of something like that happening. (Though a spider did once crawl into mom's ear when she was sleeping. I know. I didn't sleep for a week after that.) 

    Earwigs can also do that cockroach thing and get all flat to fit into the tiniest places you could ever imagine. Barf.

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    Bulbous, shiny and fleshy looking. Also, spikes. Bleech.

    Weta look a bit like a katydid, long-horned grasshopper, or cricket, but the hind legs are enlarged and usually very spiny.  They are nocturnal and different species have different diets. Most weta are predators or omnivores preying on other invertebrates, but the tree and giant weta eat mostly lichens, leaves, flowers, seed-heads and fruit.

    Weta can bite and inflict painful scratches, with the potential of infection, but their primary defense is mostly visual --  looking large and spiky and creepy.

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    Asian Giant Hornet Added by: KellyLacourse

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    Palmetto Bug


    This is basically a cockroach. It looks just like it, but when I lived in Miami, these things weren't content to lurk in corners. They would come out onto the walls, and they would FLY. Yes, these are larger-than-normal cockroaches. That can fly. So they are definitely making this list. 

    Flying. Giant. Cockroaches.

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    Bed Bug


    More blood suckers. And these are in your bed while you sleep. 

    Most species feed on humans only when other prey are unavailable. Their bites are not usually noticed at the time. The neck and jaw line are particularly favored places to feed.

    It usually spends less than 20 minutes in physical contact with its host, and once its full, it will not attempt to feed again until it has either completed a molt or, if an adult, has thoroughly digested the meal.

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    Hey! Everyone loves cockroaches! What are they doing on this list? All filthy and skittering and impossible to smash. Hiding in dark corners and swarming on all their gross hairy legs. In our KITCHEN! Where the food is!

    Yes. This is the king of gross, this thing. I love bugs, and I can't STAND these things.

    They are FAST.  I mean, they should be impressive if they weren't so nasty. They've been clocked at 3.4 mph, about 50 body lengths per second, which would be is like a human running 210 mph. They are adaptative and ridiculously bulletproof. The myth about them surviving radiation is no myth. 

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    Antlion larva Added by: KellyLacourse

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    I don't care how small these are, they look terrifying.

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    Despite their name, Jerusalem crickets are not true crickets, nor are they native to Jerusalem. They are in the same family as the Weta, which is why they both look so shiny and fleshy and blaaarrrgh. These nocturnal insects use their strong mandibles to feed primarily on dead organic matter but can also eat other insects. Their highly adapted feet are used for burrowing beneath moist soil to feed on decaying root plants and tubers.

    While Jerusalem crickets are not venomous they can emit a foul smell and are capable of inflicting a painful bite. Not to worry, I won't be picking this thing up any time soon.

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    Silverfish are found all over the world... and also in my attic. Specifically, they are always waiting when I go up to said attic to get a book out of a box. I don't think they read, but they are always in the pages of any book I pull out. 

    It is for this reason that I find them gross. Not because they are possibly literate, but because they are pale grey and have lots of legs and those butt pinchers again (I don't know why having pinchers on your butt is so disturbing, but it is). And they do that earwig thing where they get all flat and fit into tiny crevices.

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    Asian Giant Hornet Added by: KellyLacourse

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    Assassin Bug


    Imagine something that has a needle on its face. It injects poison with the needle, and then sucks the liquified victim's insides back in through the same needle. Now imagine that thing is real. Because it is. 

     That's pretty gross, but they start young. When they are little, some species will cover and camouflage themselves with remains of dead prey insects, which forms a very effective camouflage. How's that for cold? Wearing a suit made of your dead victims? Some species are blood suckers rather than predators, and they are accordingly far less welcome. Some Assassin bugs are known as kissing bugs because of this, because they tend to bite sleeping humans in the soft tissue around the lips and eyes. 

    In some crazier parts of the world, people BREED them as PETS and for pest control. Jesus, get a fish.

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