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10/30/11

In honor of Halloween, we wanted to talk to you about some of the creepiest insects we have come across in our time controlling pests throughout our service areas. There are lots of creepy crawlies out there; bugs with lots of legs, covered in funny eyes and bugs that are big enough to eat small fish! Here is our list of our top ten creepy bugs to help you celebrate this Halloween:

  1. The Wolf Spider: If you come across the female wolf spider at the right time, you’re sure to be freaked out! The female spider produces an egg sac which she carries around with her until the young are ready to emerge. Once the babies are ready, she bites open her egg sac and 100 or more spider babies climb out and cling to the special hairs she has all over her body, remaining there for a week or even longer.
  2. European Hornet: This is one big bug! It was introduced into the US in the mid-eighteen hundreds and is now found mostly in the eastern half of the US. The adult European hornet can grow to 1 3/8 inch long and although they are not very aggressive, a colony of giant hornets in your yard is enough to scare you right back into your house!
  3. Giant Water Bug: This bug is a fierce looking creature that hunts for insects, small fish and even small amphibians. It’s also known as the "toe-biter" and they live in and around ponds. The adult giant water bug is about 2 inches in length and the two front legs look like aggressive pincers, although they’re not. They have piercing mouth-parts that also suck and can cause a very painful bite to the unsuspecting person.
  4. The Wheel Bug: These bugs are big! At 1 ½ inches and with a strange construction on its back that looks like a gear wheel, these can inflict a very painful bite on the careless human.
  5. The House Centipede: This bug has very long legs, so they can appear to be three or four inches long. They are known to slither out of dark crevices and disappear again, and they move very quickly. When you swat at one, the centipede’s little legs fall off but continue to wiggle- CREEPY!
  6. Hissing Cockroaches: These aren’t native to the US, but one of our service technicians found a group of them living in a home in the Twin Cities. They are large, sluggish and have fuzzy antennae that they wave about. They have horn-like structures on the pronotum and they hiss like snakes when they’ve been disturbed.
  7. Praying Mantis: The largest of this species is the Chinese mantid and it can reach 5 inches in length. They are sneaky bugs, lurking quietly until they whip their heads all the way around to look at you. They have large, alien-looking eyes and they are voracious; to the point where the female sometimes eats the male before, during or after mating.
  8. Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar: This good sized caterpillar is pretty freaky looking. It’s a good sized caterpillar, approximately 1 ½ inches long, and defends itself by making it’s body look like a snake. If this caterpillar becomes alarmed, it will extrude from its head a fleshy organ that is forked, like a snake’s tongue, that also smells bad!
  9. Giant Ichneumon Wasp: These are harmless wasps that only look scary! They have a long egg-laying structure (called an ovipositor) that looks pretty threatening. These wasps crawl over dead and dying trees and branches in search of wood boring insects, using their scary-looking ovipositor to lay eggs on the insects within the wood.
  10. Giant Crane Fly: This fly has a wingspan of almost three inches and looks like a giant mosquito (yikes!). They are actually perfectly harmless and the adults don’t even feed on humans. But they are very creepy looking, especially when they’re coming at you!
The folks at Plunkett's Pest Control want you to enjoy your Halloween this year.  Hopefully you won't come across any of these creepy crawlies today and your Halloween scares are limited to the trick or treater kind!  If you do come across any of these creepy pests, you know who to call: the professionals at Plunkett's are ready and waiting to help you get rid of the scariest bugs.  Call us today for your first appointment, or click here and we'll call you!          


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