Alright, let me just come out and say it: I am not a fan of bugs. I can handle all the other common fears – rodents, snakes, heights, blood – that’s all well and good to me. Insects, however, will send me shrieking and sprinting in the opposite direction. Even butterflies make me a little anxious if they get too close. Knowing these bugs are found in my own state wasn’t exactly the best news, but I’m just glad it’s still winter so I can rest assured that all of these creepy crawlers are probably frozen or hibernating…for now.
I hope this article is as fun for you to read as it was for me to research. Which means that it will make you check your sheets before you go to bed tonight. Twice. Not saying that I did that or anything, but I may have done that. I wish I didn’t know that these bugs could be near me, but if you’re brave enough then here you go – 10 insects that can be found in the state of North Dakota.
1. Pelecinid Wasp
As if normal wasps weren't bad enough, these have long abdomens that look lethal. Fortunately, they do not normally use them to sting - females use them to impale grubs living underground, lay an egg in them, which then hatches into wasp larvae that eats the grub from inside out. How pleasant!
2. Assassin Bug
That thing underneath this bug's head can be used to stab prey as well as defend themselves, so I suggest you don't try to pick one up. They can inject venom upon stabbing, or digestive juices, which they use on bugs they find for meals to liquify the bug from the inside out. A sting from one of these guys can be bad enough to send you to the hospital due to pain.
3. Bold Jumping Spider
This type of spider can jump 50 times their own body length. They don't make webs very often, and prefer to hunt rather than lay in waiting. This means you might see them hanging out on a fence somewhere, prepared to spring at any moment.
4. Cow Killer
With bright red and black coloring and the friendly, inviting name "cow killer," these guys have to be completely harmless, right? Yeah, no. Their stings are so painful they can cause a cow to fall over stunned - just think of what they could do to the average person. The pain is known to be a lasting one, too, so don't expect it to stop hurting after a few days. I'd avoid them at all costs!
You may think scorpions only live in deserts, but there is a type of scorpion-like insect that can be found in North Dakota. These pseudoscorpions, or book scorpions (among other names), are very small and generally nonlethal, but like their names would imply can be found in books or within old clothing since they usually prey on clothing moths' larvae. So really, they are beneficial to us in the long run, but lets be honest - no one really wants to find one of these in their clothes, especially while they are wearing them.
6. Cat-Faced Spider
When you hear "cat-faced spider" you might think of some sort of cute little bug with big wide eyes and cute ear-like features, maybe even some whiskers, but instead you get this. This thing. This very non-catlike thing. Some fun facts: egg sacs full of these guys can survive winter after being laid by the female cat-faced spider who dies immediately afterwards. When it hatches, many of the baby spiders will eat their brothers and sisters. Talk about family sacrifice!
7. Giant Water Bug
Nope. No thank you. There's nothing I dislike more than a bug with the word "giant" in its name. And giant water bugs surely do deserve their title - they have large pincers for forelegs that they use to hunt small fish, frogs, or other bugs. And they also have the fitting nickname of "toe-biters," since unknowing swimmers will get a nasty pinch if they get too close to one of these. YUCK!
8. Spined Mircathena Spider
I wouldn't want to stomp on this spider with that spiky abdomen. They do make neat webs, though - they are known to look like CDs. Another fun tidbit is that, like some other spiders, male spined micrathenas are much smaller than females with less lethal-looking bodies, and they usually die during their mating rituals.
9. Brown Mantidfly
It's not a wasp, and it's not a praying mantis either, but it sure looks like both of those things mashed together resulting in nothing but weird and creepy. I can't hate them entirely though - even if what I'm about to tell you is kind of gross. They are an enemy to the wolf spider due to the fact that mantidfly larvae, after they hatch, will find their way to a wolf spider egg sac while it is being constructed. They will freeload around in there and eat all of the eggs until eventually hatching from it, much to the frustration of the mother wolf spider, who has been carrying around that egg sac underneath her for quite a while and expecting a bunch of baby spiders. I guess I don't know which is worse - one of these things emerging, or tons of baby spiders. Either way, I don't want to interact with either of them. Ever.
10. Running Crab Spider
This is the kind of thing I have nightmares about. Half the reason spiders are scary is the fact that they can dart around very quickly, but these guys are known for their high speeds due to their extra long legs. They are also known to run sideways, just like crabs, hence the name. They chase after prey and do not use webs to hunt, like the jumping spider. I'd appreciate it if these spiders used their characteristics to run far, far away from me.
Well, I’m going to have a fun time trying to sleep tonight without that weird skin-crawling sensation. What did you think about this list?