This time of year, some of you may be thinking, “love bites.” Here’s the good news: not all bugs do, at least!
At Bug Bite Thing, we may have our moments of irritation with a few choice insects (ahem, mosquitoes, *cough cough*), but today we’re not here to hate on those six-legged pests … nor those with no legs at all. As we approach Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing a few reasons why we adore some of these creepy-crawly creatures—and why you should, too!
We know the Bug Bite Thing intends to protect us from the effects of bee stings, but we don’t dislike bees. Many of us here couldn’t live without putting honey in our tea or bee pollen in our açaí bowls, but beyond the nutritional and sweetness factors, bees are critical to our environment and our survival due to their role as crop pollinators. According to the FDA, bee pollination accounts for approximately $15 billion in added crop value.
Did you know ladybugs keep other pesky insects in check? Cute as they may be, ladybugs are predators who feast on the aphids that can ruin plants. Besides eating up to 5,000 aphids over their lifetime, they’re also pollinators, so they’re the friends you want to have in your garden. Oh, and they’re known for bringing good luck, too. 😉
Besides the playful memories they bring of digging in the dirt when we were kids, worms play a pretty important role in our environment. They are incredible helpers to have in a compost, garden or farm as they naturally fertilize the earth. Worms break up debris, burrow and aerate the soil, and create worm castings that are rich in nutrients, which in turn prepares the soil for more growth.
Also known as lightning bugs, the bioluminescent fireflies look like glowing fairies in the backyard on summer evenings. Gorgeous as they are lighting up in yellow, green or blue, fireflies and their larvae prey on garden pests like snails, slugs and aphids, which can help keep ecosystems in balance.
Hear us out. We’ve seen the burn-down-the-house memes related to arachnids, but not all eight-legged bugs are spiders, nor are they all bad to have in your home. Daddy-longlegs are part of the Opiliones species and do not produce silk nor venom. Next time you spot one of these skinny spider-looking creatures in the corner of your room or patio, take a deep breath and think of them as beneficial scavengers. Daddy-longlegs eat other household pests, dead insects and bird droppings (yuck), which ultimately keeps your space a little cleaner.
This one is an easy one, because what’s not to love about butterflies? Not only do they fascinate us with their seemingly magical transformation from caterpillars to colorful winged beauties, but they also serve a crucial purpose for plant life. Like bees, butterflies are pollinators, helping flowers and fruits reproduce in the wild (or your own backyard butterfly garden!), leading to richer biodiversity. They are also indicators of a healthy ecosystem, so you’re in good company when you spot one.
Lovebugs may cover your car when you head out for a road trip, but they are harmless. These coupled-up insects pose no risk of bites, stings or diseases to humans or animals, and they benefit our ecosystems by recycling organic matter, much like worms.
If you’re still not convinced – either with our love for bugs or with the fanfare of Valentine’s Day – we have another option for you. You can feed a hungry animal with a cockroach named after your ex, just by donating to the San Antonio Zoo as part of its Cry Me a Cockroach Fundraiser.