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Creepy Insect Facts That Will Keep You Up At Night

Updated September 23, 2021 3.5k votes 665 voters 25.1k views13 items

List RulesVote up the insect facts that make your skin crawl.

So you think you can handle some gross insect facts? Everyone knows bugs are disgusting, but few dare to peel back the layers of weird insect facts to find the true horrors lurking all around us. Insects aren’t just terrifying, they’re also everywhere. There are about 10 quintillion insects on Earth (that’s a 10 with 18 zeroes), and they’re making more every second. And they’re downright nauseating, as these facts about bugs will affirm.

The thing about insects is there’s something for everyone. Not afraid of a horde of ants? Flies probably gross you out. Bees don’t bother you? A roach might still make your skin crawl. When you start digging into facts about insects, you’re sure to find something that turns your stomach. If you have a serious phobia or two, now is the time to face your fears. Here are some bug facts that are not for the faint of heart.

  • Photo: winkyintheuk / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Mosquitoes Are The Most Dangerous Creatures On Earth

    Afraid to go in the ocean because you just watched Jaws for the twentieth time? Freaking out because you think you saw a snake in the high grass near the sidewalk? Forget it. In another staggering example of how we’re afraid of all the wrong things, mosquitoes kill more humans than all other creatures on Earth combined.

    They’re disease-ridden little pests, spreading malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. Mosquitoes kills about 725,000 people every year. Every other creature combined - including humans - kills about 586,000 people a year. 

    Does this give you the heebie-jeebies?
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    You Had Insects For Breakfast This Morning

    If you had a nice bowl of cereal this morning, it was probably frosted with insect parts. FDA standards say anything below 60 insect parts per 100 grams is safe for humans. So that half-cup serving of Frosty Bears you had this morning probably had about 15 insect parts. Every Hershey kiss you eat probably has a little extra kiss from our insect friends.

    But cheer up. Cockroach milk is protein rich and has the ability to add healthy fat to your diet. So pour a little cockroach milk over those insect-frosted flakes for a healthy start to your day!

    Does this give you the heebie-jeebies?
  • Photo: nebarnix / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    There Are Six Million Dust Mites In Your Bed

    If you hate sleeping alone, fear not! Dust mites are your constant bedfellows. Chances are pretty good you have about six million mites in your bed on any given night. Now, they’re not going to devour you; they spend their nights (and days) snacking on dander and dead skin you lose during the night. Hey, you weren’t using that dead skin anyway, right? Might as well let the mites enjoy it. So whatever you’re doing in bed, keep in mind that you have six million well-fed spectators.

    Does this give you the heebie-jeebies?
  • Photo: derekmarkham / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    A Cockroach Can Live Without Its Head

    Everyone knows cockroaches survived the Ice Age, and we can assume they’ll survive us as well. But they’re even tougher than you might think: Cockroaches can live up to a week without a head. They actually breathe through their body segments, so they don’t depend on having a head to get oxygen.

    If roaches could figure out a way to drink water or eat without a head, they could go on to live long, happy, productive roach lives in their headless state. But they do still need nourishment, so they die of thirst after several days.

    Does this give you the heebie-jeebies?