Bug Myths – Do You Know If These Are True?

bug myths

Do the spots on this ladybug tell us about the age or sex of this bug?  Photo via Flickr.

We have all heard a lot of these bug myths.  Some of them may be true, but then again they many not be.

Ever since I was a kid I have found bugs fascinating.  Bugs are so fun and accessible because they are everywhere.  You can find them in the backyard, the house, or up in the Rocky Mountains somewhere.  I have heard a lot of bug myths, some of them warned me about dangerous ones and others were just some neat fact.  Read about these bug myths and see if you know which ones are true or not.

Ladybug Spots Tell The Age Or Sex of The Bug

This seems to be one of the common bug myths that I have heard for years.  Some versions of the myth are that the number of spots on the ladybug tell how old it is – one spot for every year.  Another version of the myth is something like if there are an even number of spots it is a male and an odd number it is a female.

FALSE – the number of spots have nothing to do with the age or sex of the ladybug.  There are many different kinds of ladybugs and different kinds of ladybugs have different numbers of spots.

bug myths

A harvestman or daddy longlegs.

Daddy Longlegs Are Deadly!

Another common myth is that Daddy Longlegs are deadly.

FALSE – True Daddy Longlegs (also called harvestmen) are not deadly and have no venom.  Not only do they not have venom, but they don’t even have fangs to bite with.  Read this old post about Daddy Longlegs, which explains that the myth may come from a misunderstanding about the term being used for different insects.

Bees Die After They Sting You

I remember thinking about this happily after getting stung by a bee.  The fact that the bee was going to die after causing me so much pain made me feel good.

TRUE AND FALSE – Honey bees, which are quite common, do die after they sting you.  But, there are thousands of other kinds of bees that will not die after stinging.

bug myths

This is a nice worm.

If You Cut A Worm in Half It Will Grow Into Two New Ones

This is a myth that most kids have heard at some point.  Hopefully, not everyone has experimented with this to see if it is true or not.

FALSE – If you cut a worm in half it will never grow into two new ones.  However, if you cut it below the clitellum, the part with a head could grow a new tail.

A Wooly Bear Caterpillar Can Predict Winter’s Intensity And Length

This myth says that based on how much of the caterpillar is black or how big the orange band around their middle is you can predict how long or strong winter will be.

FALSE – The coloring of the Wooly Bear Caterpillar has nothing to do with predicting winter.  As the caterpillar grows it molts and after each molt the fuzzy black tip becomes smaller and the orange band become larger.

bug myths

A black widow spider.

People Swallow 7 to 8 Spiders Every Year While Sleeping!

Yuck!  I am sure we have all head this myth that we actually swallow a lot of spiders every year while we are sleeping.

FALSE – This has no basis in fact.  While true that people do sometimes sleep with their mouth open, spiders are not walking into your mouth.

Butterflies and Moths Can’t Fly If You Touch Or Rub Their Wings

I remember hearing some friends react in shock as my kids picked up and touched a butterfly.  They couldn’t believe that my kids did that because they knew this myth and thought my kids had basically caused the death of the butterfly.

FALSE – Luckily for me, my kids, and the butterfly this is not true.