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7 insects you live with that are pretty cool!

 

Photo by Katja Schulz licensed CC BY 2.0

You might share your home with a dog, cat or even a hamster. But did you know you also share your home with a whole bunch of insects? A team of entomologists (they study insects) found out that the average city home has a whopping 112 distinct species of insects living in it! Pretty creepy. But, not to worry because these bugs aren't all bad. In fact, many of them are harmless or even help you keep other pests away. So, next time you think of squashing that bug, check if it's one of these and think again.

Pill bug

close up of a pill bug

A pill bug is pretty small and can fit on the tip of your finger. (Photo by Anders Sandberg licensed CC BY 2.0)

Where they live: This little crustacean (he has an outer shell) likes to live in the basement, but you can also find them in your compost where they like to nibble on rotting vegetables.

Why they're cool: Why aren't they cool? They can curl up into tight balls when threatened. Their blood is blue instead of red. They help compost your vegetables. And the best part is that they're completely harmless and don't spread diseases.

Silverfish

close up of a silverfish

They look kind of creepy, but silverfish are super fast. (Photo by Larah McElroy licensed CC BY-NC 2.0)

Where they live: Silverfish haven't changed much in 400 million years and are found all over the world. These guys have been living with us since we first started living indoors in the Stone Age. You can usually find them in the bathroom.

Why they're cool: They're like little superheroes — they can live up to a year with just water and no food, they can run very fast, can jump up to half a metre, can squeeze into tiny cracks in the wall and can live pretty long for an insect. They don't carry any diseases but they might do some damage to food in your pantry, books and wallpaper. Oops!

Stink bug

stink bug on a leaf

They're bugs that stink as their defence! (Photo by Katja Schulz licensed CC BY 2.0)

Where they live: Although these little guys are usually in your garden, they've been know to walk right under your door to escape the winter cold. They like to hibernate during the winter until the spring when they go back outdoors.

Why they're cool: They're really harmless inside, but they can be a nuisance in the garden. They have a really great way to get rid of predators: it's how they got their name — a blast of stinky, smelly gas!

Centipede

centipede in a plant

Centipedes don't actually have 100 legs like their name suggests. They can have anywhere from 30-354 legs, depending on how many body segments they have! (Photo by budal licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Where they live: You may not see them very often since these multi-legged guys only come out at night and love to live in damp areas like basements and bathrooms.

Why they're cool: Sure they're creepy and their name means "100 legs" but all those legs come in handy if they're attacked — they just leave a couple behind and make a fast escape. They also have poisonous jaws, but those jaws only works on prey — they aren't strong enough to puncture human skin. Some people think they're super cool — in Japan they're sometimes kept as pets!

Springtail

a teeny tiny springtail

Springtails are super tiny bugs. (Photo by Andy Murray licensed CC BY-SA 2.0)

Where they live: These little guys like to live in the dirt but in your home you might find them behind a damp wall in the kitchen or in the bathroom.

Why they're cool: Just like a superhero, the tiny springtail can leap nearly 100 times its own height in a single bound. And as a plus, they don't bite, sting, transmit diseases or damage any of your belongings.

Cellar spider

a cellar spider hanging upside-down

Cellar spiders have super skinny long legs. (Photo by Dave Huth licensed CC BY-NC 2.0)

Where they live: Just like their name says, these skinny-legged spiders love to spin their webs all over your basement (another word for cellar).

Why they're cool: Sure, spiders look creepy, but you don't have to be scared of this one. It's a great trapper and gets rid of a lot of other six-legged creatures you don't even see, keeping your house bug-free. And just in case you're wondering — those jaws are too small to bite us.


Want more spiders? Check out the world's most amazing spiders?


Weevil

a green weevil on a leaf

If you accidentally eat a weevil, it's ok. (Photo by Caramosca licensed CC BY-NC 2.0)

Where they live: Just like the stinkbug, the weevil likes to hang out with the plants in your garden. But it doesn't mind getting some shelter from bad weather inside your nice warm home. They like to hide in the insulation behind your walls, and sometimes you can find them taking a swim in the nuts, seeds or grains in your kitchen.

Why they're cool: These little guys are part of the beetle family, which is pretty big considering there's 45,000 kinds of them. Imagine your family being that big! They're not harmful to us at all, and can even be eaten along with any food they've infested. Sort of like extra protein. Yummers!

Thanks to The Nature of Things for sharing this amazing insect information with us.


Want more insects? Check out 14 of the world's weirdest insects!