Things That Bug Me – Or – What The Bug?

I attended the Bug Fair at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History a few weeks ago and came home with a bunch of questions swirling around in my head.  Here are a few that beg an answer.

1.  Why does a pest control company sponsor the Bug Fair?  Oddly enough, Western Exterminator Company is the proud sponsor of the Bug Fair.  Terminix also had a booth there.  Doesn’t that seem a bit odd?  I guess my confusion stems from the fact that, as far as I know, the purpose of the Bug Fair is to make people aware of how incredible bugs and butterflies are.  Having an exterminator company as the sponsor seems rather contradictory.  Isn’t it their job to kill bugs?  I’m still trying to figure this one out.  Perhaps they promote the Fair in order to ensure there will always be a multitude of bugs around.  After all, exterminator companies need bugs to zap.  Otherwise, they’re out of business.  So, I guess promoting bugs really does make sense.

2.  What is it with kids and tarantulas?  And who knew they had such a fascination with them?  Every other kid walking around the Fair seemed to have Tupperware container with a live tarantula squirming inside.  Come to think of it, maybe Tupperware should be the Fair’s sponsor.  Thank God for those tight fitting lids.  I’d hate to see eight hairy legs peering out at me.  Do kids actually play with tarantulas, anyway?  Why aren’t they doing something constructive with their day like playing computer games?  I mean really, how much fun can it be to watch a tarantula eat a few live crickets every week?  Or do these unnaturally hairy, scary spiders have hidden attributes that I don’t know about?

3.  Okay, who would buy a grasshopper for $4,500?  That’s right—$4,500!  No joke.  There actually was a grasshopper on sale for that price by the name of Tropidacris dux monster. That translates into ‘Giant Brown Cricket.’  Personally, I think it’s false advertising.  This bug isn’t a cricket but a gigantic grasshopper with abnormally large wings.  How big is this thing?  Large enough so that hunters once mistook them for birds in flight.  You might shoot it too if you saw one flying at you.

4.  What makes someone decide to become an insect chef and who really wants to eat mealy worms, scorpions, ants and giant water bugs?  It makes no difference to me if it’s sauteed, filleted, barbecued or roasted.  Okay, okay.  I know bugs are the terrestrial cousins of shrimp and lobster (which I happen to really love) and eating them is supposed to be good for the planet.  I don’t care.  This is where I draw the line.  A slice of banana worm bread, anyone?

Tropidacris dux monster

4 thoughts on “Things That Bug Me – Or – What The Bug?”

  1. I was just saying how much I love to live vicariously through books and what you learn from them. As much as I loved reading Winged Obsession, this may be one adventure, one of bugs, that I could skip.

    Enjoying these posts about the bug world…

  2. How many of us have cared about bugs other than to stomp on them or to admire the beauty of a spider web? And who would ever think a bug fair would inspire such fascinating questions? Well, I’m with you on not eating them and having tightly sealed Tupperware containers for tarantulas. As for exterminators as sponsors, I too am befuddled. Last night when I took a shower, there was a lovely black spider crawling up the tiles, and I smiled to have its company. “Winged Obsession” created for me a new fascination with insect life.


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