Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends over a spread of delicious food with some taking the annual gathering as an opportunity to stuff their faces more than they ever have all year. So, in honor of the yearly family feast, check out our top six greedy bug and insects.
Mosquitoes prefer a liquid lunch with males and females both dining on nectar from plants and fruits. The females, however, need something a bit stronger to satisfy their appetite – blood. Namely blood from hosts like animals and humans to provide the protein they need to produce and nourish eggs. Like tiny syringes, these pests can drink until their abdomen gorges to almost double their size.
Ever the picky eaters, termites crave wood and materials with cellulose like plants, paper, and even drywall to satisfy their hunger pangs. They also eat very slowly, and a substantial colony can munch on wood in a home for months creating severe damage that could be hard to detect. Over a five-month period, a motivated colony of 60,000 termites can consume almost one foot of a 2×4 piece of wood.
These pests have such an immense appetite, they’ve been compared to plagues and natural disasters throughout history. Locusts have a voracious appetite and can decimate crops, especially when they swarm. A single locust can consume its weight in plants in a day, so a swarm that can include numbers in the thousands to millions can turn acres of crops into an all-you-can-eat buffet.
Ever heard the story of the hungry caterpillar who ate everything under the sun until it transformed into a beautiful butterfly? Well, the story is pretty accurate as caterpillars have a reputation for wreaking havoc on crops and fruits from apples to cabbage. Their greed is necessary to provide them with the energy it takes to progress them to the next stage of evolution into moths and butterflies.
With a diverse diet that can include everything from plants to meat depending on the species, ants have quite the appetite. Don’t let their small size fool you. When these crawlers get their big family together, they eat until there is nothing left. Fire ants, for example, have been documented stripping animals like frogs and cows to the bone overnight. Talk about supper time!
Lastly, taking the top spot on our greedy list of bugs and insects is the spider. A new study found that spiders around the world consume between 440 and 880 million tons of insects per year. Being carnivores and with a world full of other insects, these predators celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast all year long.
“Locusts” National Geographic
“Spiders Eat Up to 880 Million Tons of Insects Each Year” Live Science
“Types of Garden Pests” HGTV