Every day, there are millions of people asking weird and wonderful questions on the Internet. So, we decided to put together a list of the strangest and most interesting questions asked about common pests, and we weren’t disappointed with what we found.
How do flies dodge so well?
Picture the scene. You’re at home relaxing but, suddenly, there is an annoying buzz and you notice a fly flitting around the room bumping into walls and, sometimes, your head. You decide that enough is enough and grab a fly swatter or a rolled-up newspaper.
After entering your Spartan mode, you swat the air frantically but, every time you think you’ve got the fly, it dodges and buzzes around mockingly.
We have all faced this frustration and usually end up screaming “How are you dodging this?”. The answer is quite remarkable. It turns out that flies are masters of aerodynamics and wing control. They exercise precise control over their wingbeats in a fraction of a second to pitch and roll and change direction almost instantly when they perceive a threat. With a swarm, you’ll need help.
Why do mice eat electrical wires?
Mice are well known for their destructive capabilities in houses. They can easily chew through walls and wooden beams, but more worrying is when they chew electrical wires. This can lead to power cuts, expensive repairs and even house fires. But why do mice eat electrical wires?
There are two reasons why mice find wiring so irresistible, the first one being that they simply enjoy chewing things and the second – that the toughness of wires and their casings present mice with the perfect tooth sharpener.
Mice have very strong, sharp teeth which are constantly growing, so they need to chew on whatever they can find to control the length of their teeth. Chewing on tough objects also has the bonus of strengthening and sharpening their teeth, so that they can chew through things even faster.
How do mosquitoes survive winter?
Ah, mosquitoes, nature’s way of expressing its annoyance with sentient mammals. Many of us look forward to winter solely due to the fact that the mosquitoes will disappear, but where do they go?
Sadly, they don’t all die as winter sets in since they are cold-blooded. Many will find a place to hibernate until it is warm enough to re-emerge. Others still will lay their eggs in freezing water before dying. The freezing water preserves the eggs until the temperature rises and they can hatch to unleash their wrath upon us once again.
How do cockroaches turn upside down?
Few things are as disturbing as turning on a room light and seeing countless cockroaches scurrying back into the darkness. But have you ever noticed how most of the dead cockroaches you see are on their backs?
Well, enough people noticed and were curious enough to ask the Internet.
Cockroaches have an exoskeleton with a built-in hydraulic blood circulation system and their legs naturally curl beneath their bodies. In order to straighten their legs and move around, they exert themselves to push blood through their legs.
As they age, or if they don’t have a food source, they become weaker and find it increasingly difficult to exert the necessary amount of force required to straighten their legs. This can cause an imbalance leading to cockroaches tipping over. Even healthy cockroaches can find themselves stuck if they end up on their back, so old or hungry cockroaches stand almost no chance of recovering if they tip over.
Did Scarab beetles really eat flesh?
Despite what Hollywood and Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, 1999) would have you believe, scarab beetles are not, and have never been carnivores and, as such, do not eat flesh.
What are Cicada broods?
We really wish we hadn’t Googled this, but we are also ecstatic that we don’t live anywhere near this natural horror story.
Cicadas are insects which live underground for 13-17 years eating roots and maturing. When they emerge en masse (there can be up to 1.5 million individuals per acre) every 13 or 17 years to breed, they are grouped into broods depending on the year of their emergence. Despite their long underground life and massive numbers, cicadas only live for around 4-6 weeks once above ground, so thankfully the nightmare is short-lived.
Do rats really like cheese?
Rats and other rodents will eat anything they can, and this includes cheese. Although rats will eat cheese if it is available, they are lactose-intolerant and they suffer from digestive issues and may release little rat farts as a result. The high fat and cholesterol levels present in dairy products also make these very unhealthy products for rats.
What is the difference between woodworm and termites?
Termites are small, wood-eating, ant-like creatures that live in large, structured colonies. They prefer to build their nests in dark places, such as basements and attics.
A woodworm is the larvae of beetles which eat their way through wood until they are mature enough to leave the wood. They often leave trails of sludge made from excess sawdust.
Are bees really dying off?
This is a hotly contested subject. Both sides of the argument present evidence to support their claims of either increased instances of colony collapse or an increase in the creation of new colonies. For example, a survey conducted by the Bee Informed Partnership and the Apiary Inspectors of America found that the nation’s beekeepers lost 44% of colonies in the period spanning April 2015 to April 2016. The decline in bee colonies has been attributed to a mixture of elements including large numbers of varroa mites, pesticide use, and malnutrition.
Those that argue against an ongoing bee-pocalypse point to a study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture which found that bee populations in the United States increased over a ten-year period, spanning from 2004 – 2014. They also claim that as honeybees are livestock, with short lifespans and high reproduction rates, their numbers are controlled by demand and the free market. Therefore, it is natural for there to be rapid changes in bee populations.
The issue of whether bees are thriving or declining is not one which can be answered easily. If you are interested in this topic or are about to take up beekeeping, we advise that you thoroughly research both sides of the fence before forming your own conclusion.
Are silverfish harmful to cats?
Silverfish are not poisonous and they do not bite humans or animals. In fact, they are likely to do everything in their power to avoid your cat out of fear of being eaten.
The creepy little bugs pose more of a threat to your home and belongings than to your cat. They love to feast on starch-based products such as the glue in books, photos, and clothing.
Are flying squirrels real?
Yes. The flying squirrel is a real animal and we were surprised, as well as a little disappointed that this is actually a common question. Although its name may conjure up images of squirrels flying majestically through the air like the Red Arrows, flying squirrels cannot actually fly.
Instead, they simply glide from treetop to treetop. They are able to accomplish this due to having a thin membrane of skin on either side of their bodies. Think less bird and more guy in a wingsuit.
Do fleas live on humans?
You’ll be happy to learn that the majority of flea species do not live on humans. They bite us and use our blood for nourishment, but do not set up a permanent home on our skin. The exception is the chigoe flea.
These nasty little parasites burrow into human flesh and can cause a whole host of medical issues. But don’t set fire to everything around you just yet as they can only be found in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The majority of fleas don’t like to live on our bodies because we are not as furry as our four-legged friends. This lack of fur deprives fleas of hiding places, as well as of something to hold onto when we move around.
So, there we have the 11 most interesting, weird, and eyebrow-raising questions that people ask Google about common pests. We hope you found this as informative and entertaining as we did. Now, get out there and impress everyone around you with your newfound knowledge!
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