Getting buggy

Itchy insects back in town


BY THE NUMBERS The part left out of talk about April showers and May flowers is the insects that arrive as well. You have already started swatting and slapping and getting out the repellent for the summer. Then again, butterflies can be lovely. Insects: They're all around you. All around you? You have no idea:

1,000,000 Number of known species of insects in the world.

30,000,000 Estimated number of insect species yet to be catalogued.

10,000,000,000,000,000,000 Estimated number of insects in the world.

43,000 Number of eggs laid in one day by the queen of one termite species.

190,000,000,000,000,000,000 Number of descendants from a single pair of houseflies, if all the descendants survived, over the course of one summer.

12 Times the weight of the human race, the combined weight of all insects (and more than the weight of all the other animals in the world combined).

70 Tons of locusts in a typical African locust swarm.

9,759 Number of insects found by one study in a single square foot of soil three inches deep in a U.S. oak forest.

3 You are never more than this number of feet away from a spider, according to one study. (All right. spiders aren't insects. But aren't you glad you know this?)

200,000,000 Number of dollars spent each year in the United States on insect repellents (for all the good it does).

57,000,000,000 Number of dollars worth of services provided by insects in the United States each year (we can look on the positive side; many insects are beneficial).

150 Number of species of butterflies in Illinois. Let's try to keep our thoughts with them.

Zay N. Smith


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