My family visited me this past week where they stayed in a local hotel down here (down here being Manassas, VA). My dad found this little guy hanging around their hotel room:
He misidentified the bug as a roach thus causing a sleepless night for my mother and sister. They kept the lights and TV on throughout the night to aid their quest in staying awake which made communicating with them in the morning a pleasant experience. For a visual comparison, these are roaches:
The following day, much to my family's relief, I let them know that the bug was not a roach. My knowledge of Virginia's insects still isn't strong and I had to use Google to identify it as a brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys. A bit of entomology knowledge would have gone a long way in letting the ladies sleep and make our vacation time more relaxing. Now, killing it was not necessarily the wrong thing to do: H. halys, as cute as it may be, is an invasive species that has done considerable damage to crops on the East Coast (according to, yes,Wikipedia).
That's not to say one is to take everything the internet says on bugs at face value. Consider Scutigera coleoptrata, the house centipede:
The internet would like for you to think that house centipedes are a good way to get rid of "household pests" like ants and spiders...and, well, they probably are, but I would prefer ants and spiders in my house over this monstrosity racing across my walls.* I stayed in a hotel infested with house centipedes before construction on my apartment was completed. Like the female members of my family, I kept the light on around my bed to discourage any potential nighttime visitors. Perhaps by receiving an entomology education at an early age, I would have not learned to fear these critters which offer up pesticide-free (and fee-free) extermination services.
In any case, I think we can all agree that knowing something about bugs could benefit society and one's sleeping cycle and that the Luna moth, Actias luna, is one beautiful insect:
*Non-American-sized insects and arachnids only.
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