It’s getting close to Halloween and it’s time to think about scary, creepy and ghoulish things . The “Assassin Bug” fits the bill . It’s name stirs up scary thoughts and its persona is ghoulish. Here’s why it’s the perfect Halloween bad bug:
This insect stabs its prey and sucks it dry, then attaches the corpse to its back. Not just one or two at a time, these bugs can carry around huge piles of their enemies (or fast food containers). Although, weighty and really very ghoulish, this behavior acts as a visual and olfactory camouflage as well as providing highly effective body armor.
Brings to mind the Brain Bug from Starship Troopers drinking a guy’s brains. Yuck!!
There are about 7,000 species of assassin bugs in the world and while they can deliver a painful bite, assassin bugs are usually no threat to mankind. Then there’s the exception: the blood-sucking kissing bugs, aptly named because they bite humans painlessly on the face and around the mouth while they sleep. (They are attracted to the carbon dioxide exhaled while breathing.) Problems occur when they defecate in the process, leaving protozoans from their feces in the wound, leading to chronic heart, digestive and neurological problems. Chagas disease, is a serious problem in South America, and infections may be on the upswing in the United States.
For more information on Chagas disease and other important pest topics watch the Corky’s Pest Control’s “Pest News Minute”.
Just a couple of examples of these creepy creatures.
Spiney Assassin Bug
War Bug from Starship Troopers
Scarey but not as scary as the real ASSASSINS.
Kissing Bug picture: By Dr. Erwin Huebner, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.