A wide world of bugs
Bugs. Most everybody hates them. We spray them, swat them, step on them and curse them to little avail. They in turn bite us, sting us, live on us and even in us.
I suppose the two most despised bugs are flies and mosquitoes. Others that I would list in the top 10 of most hated bugs are fleas, ticks, chiggers, lice, ants, termites, locusts and disgusting cockroaches. Yellow fever, malaria and bubonic plague are just a few of many diseases spread by these tiny critters.
Most bugs (a general term) are insects, but not all, and I’ll confess I don’t always know the difference. When ill, we sometimes say we have a bug, but never we “have an insect.” We may bug another person but we never “insect” another person. To put a bug in someone’s ear means to give a hint or reminder. It would be interesting to know that idiom’s origin.
There are more than one million identified species of bugs which make up about half of all living creatures. Unless we happen to be entomologists, we generally think most of them are pests.
Those weird ancient Egyptians considered the scarab beetle, also known as the dung beetle, to be sacred. Moses, with a little help from above, sicced flies, gnats and locusts on the Egyptians trying to persuade Pharaoh to release the Hebrews.
Pests they may be, but they can be interesting little creatures. A few we consider beneficial to humans. The honey bee, ladybug and dragonfly come to mind, and what a poor world it would be without butterflies and fireflies. JOHN McPHERSON Searcy