Use this tag for questions on insects and spiders. Entomology is the scientific study of insects, a branch of arthropodology. Historically this also included other arthropods such as arachnids (spiders).

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

11
votes
0answers
241 views

Can a wasp ingest and use a snake's venom?

Some people claim that if one comes across a dead venomous snake one should always cut of and bury the head as otherwise wasps could reach the venom and add it to their own stinger, for example this ...
9
votes
0answers
792 views

Do Ostrich Eggs repel Spiders?

After someone told me that Ostrich eggs repel Spiders I had to google it. I haven't been able to find a scientific explanation but throughout the Internet there are a lot of articles that mention it ...
7
votes
0answers
119 views

Do honeybees disrupt native pollinators in North America?

One of my colleagues at work is vegan, and I became curious about why vegans don't eat honey. After a search on the internet I found a website explaining why honey is not vegan. However what baffled ...
4
votes
0answers
111 views

Do cloves in an apple repel fruit flies

Some cloves in apples have recently appeared in our office. Apparently they will repel fruit flies. They look exactly like the result of following these instructions. Is there any evidence to ...
5
votes
0answers
563 views

Does baking soda eliminate a cockroach infestation?

My questions concerns a population, more significant than simply exterminating an individual cockroach. Claim: http://pest.tips.net/T003494_Kill_Roaches_with_Baking_Soda_and_Sugar.html If you're ...
40
votes
1answer
8k views

Do mosquitoes urinate on you when they bite you?

This is a claim that I have seen on several "Did You Know?" lists so far. They all state that when a mosquito bites you, they also urinate on you at the same time and that is what causes the area ...
6
votes
0answers
195 views

Do horse chestnuts deter spiders?

In my area, there is a common belief that conkers (horse chestnuts) spread throughout the house deter spiders from entering. A writer for About.com heard similar tales: With a little more ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

Would humans starve if spiders disappeared?

In this Washington Post article, Norman Platnick of the American Museum of Natural History is quoted as saying the following: If spiders disappeared, we would face famine. Spiders are primary ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

Do plastic bags of water deter flies? [duplicate]

Today I had lunch in a small Mexican taco place, and they had hanging, in the middle of the room, two clear plastic bags filled with water: I asked the reason for the hanging bags of water, and was ...
3
votes
2answers
430 views

Do roaches die (naturally) on their backs? [closed]

First, a major qualifier here; by naturally, I mean not forced to die on its "stomach" (like by being stepped on). Secondly, I live in the U.S., so maybe this applies to only American roaches. ...
4
votes
0answers
144 views

Do Florida woods cockroaches (aka Palmetto bugs) commonly sell for ~US$80/kg in China?

According to this article on Yahoo news, citing a similar South China Morning Post article, Yuan Meixia bought her initial stock of 20kg of cockroaches for around US$1600: Yuan, a pharmacy ...
5
votes
1answer
234 views

Is carbon dioxide from a mosquito trap potent enough to attract mosquitoes?

There is a large number of mosquito killer traps available which claim to work on the principle that carbon dioxide generated from the reaction of titanium dioxide with UV light is used as a trap to ...
4
votes
1answer
260 views

Was sucralose accidentally discovered in the course of insectide research?

I see repeated claims, mostly from sources of highly questionable veracity, that Sucralose was developed while searching for new insecticides. ABC news also makes this claim in a summery of various ...
6
votes
0answers
1k views

Do ants feed on pure honey?

Honey vendors say that to identify pure honey drop a spoonful of honey. If the ants don't feed it is pure. For example: Leave a little of testing honey near some ants, if the ants hover around ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Can maggots live in your digestive system?

I was reading several articles about Casu Marzu, a kind of Sardinian cheese delicacy that is infested with maggots. Many websites claim that these maggots may pass through the digestive tract ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Has any person ever died from a tarantula bite?

From Wikipedia:Tarantula: [N]o fatalities have been attributed to tarantula bites... From Nationalgeographic.com: According to researchers, there's never been a single confirmed human death ...
24
votes
1answer
22k views

Do spiders intentionally wear water droplets on their heads?

I discovered today that there are a lot of pictures of spiders "wearing" water drops as hats. (More research: Warning -- Spiders!) However, I can't find anything related to why they might do this. ...
3
votes
0answers
396 views

Any science behind folk remedies for mosquito bites? [closed]

My child is one of those people who is really attractive to mosquitoes, and she tends to obsess and itch them open — gross. This has prompted much well-meaning folk advice about itches, like this: ...
31
votes
1answer
9k views

Can you cause mosquitos to explode from drinking too much blood by flexing your muscles?

I have heard several times as I've grown up that you can flex your muscles to make mosquitos get stuck and explode. Looking around the web, I find several sources claiming the same. Q: If you flex ...
14
votes
1answer
4k views

Are artificial sweeteners useful as insecticides against ants?

My dad uses Fun Light (a brand of Light Lemonade), which contains aspartame and acefulfam K, to kill ants. He claims that the human body can't process the artificial sweeteners and they just pass ...
18
votes
1answer
9k views

Does flour or rice make an ant's stomach explode?

As I attempt to kill ants in my yard, I've been reading various claims about how to kill ants without common consumer chemical pesticides like DEET. One claim that I've heard repeatedly is that rice, ...
15
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it unhealthy to live with cockroaches?

There are a number of cockroaches in my wardrobe where I keep my clothes. I have noticed that the cockroaches haven't done any damage to my clothes. I haven't seen the need to get rid of the ...
7
votes
1answer
194 views

Can butterflies break off tree branches?

The are some fir tree forests in Mexico that are reputed to have butterfly populations so dense that their collective weight is sufficient to occasionally break off tree branches. An example of this ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Can the rhinoceros beetle carry 100x its own weight?

Intel have posted a twitter pic depicting a rhinoceros beetle carrying 8 ultrabooks (of an unrecognizable brand) with the tagline: #FACT The Rhinoceros Beetle can lift up to 100x its own weight. ...
5
votes
0answers
112 views

Are the leaves of bean plants effective for controlling bed bugs?

From the National Geographic article Can We Fake Leaves That Stab Bed Bugs in the Feet? But in the Balkan countries of southeastern Europe, there’s an old folk remedy that might be the insects’ ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

Are ants afraid of chalk and won't cross a chalk line?

Chalk Keep ants at bay by drawing a line around home entry points. The ants will be repelled by the calcium carbonate in the chalk, which is actually made up of ground-up and compressed shells ...
3
votes
1answer
591 views

Are ants afraid of the smell of lemon?

From 13 Common Items for Getting Rid of Ants: Lemons You don’t need insecticides or ant traps to ant-proof your kitchen. Just give it the lemon treatment. First squirt some lemon juice on ...
6
votes
1answer
677 views

Is Frontline (fipronil) an effective treatment for cat fleas?

Frontline Spot On (active ingredient fipronil) is advertised as a treatment for cat fleas: Kills fleas within 24 hours Kills fleas for up to 5 weeks in cats My mum recently went to her vet ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Can a UK house spider survive being hoovered up?

The spider species I'm most interested in is a common UK house spider: Tegenaria duellica. There are a lot of Q&A/forums where it is suggested that it is possible these spiders can survive being ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Do wasps and yellow jackets leave pheremones that attract them to return to old nests?

I decided to ask this question based on the following question a user posted on DIY. http://diy.stackexchange.com/questions/16965/dealing-with-a-wasp-nest According to the user quoting his local ...
26
votes
2answers
11k views

Does a “mosquito line” exist, above which mosquitos do not travel?

Is there any scientific definition or evidence of such a thing as the mosquito line? My first apartment in Manhattan was on the 25th floor of the Park Row building in the Financial District. The ...
15
votes
1answer
942 views

Are tomatoes carnivorous?

New research shows that [tomatoes] capture and kill small insects with sticky hairs on their stems and then absorb nutrients through their roots when the animals decay and fall to the ground. ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Do bees use odor instead of dance to communicate the location of food?

It has long been believed that bees use dance to communicate the location of food amongst each other. If true, this would make bees unique in the insect world, as all other insects are guided by ...
6
votes
1answer
9k views

Is the smoke from one mosquito coil equal to that of 100 cigarettes?

This article makes the following assertion. Smoke emitted from one mosquito repellant coil is equivalent to those of 100 cigarettes, thus causing harm to a large number of people in India... Is ...
30
votes
2answers
2k views

Can cockroaches survive a nuclear war?

I am sure most people will have heard this claim in some form or another: Cockroaches are so resilient that they will survive the nuclear holocaust. source Is this true?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the total biomass of ants roughly equal to the total biomass of humans?

According to About.com The total biomass of all the ants on Earth is roughly equal to the total biomass of all the people on Earth. Is the above statement just a myth or its in fact real? Are ...
6
votes
0answers
1k views

Do “yellow”-light bulbs attract fewer bugs than standard bulbs?

I read a article on eHow which claims that that yellow light-bulbs attract fewer bugs. Replace outdoor lights with "yellow" bulbs which attract fewer bugs than standard outdoor bulbs. Is it ...
2
votes
0answers
351 views

Do closed closet doors keep moths out?

Some sites suggest that closed doors can keep moths out. Others report that keeping the closet doors closed does not help with moth control. So, does it?
13
votes
1answer
9k views

Were Love Bugs “Engineered” at the University of Florida?

Today while discussing cleaning cars with a co-worker, he mentioned how much he hated driving in Florida because of "Love Bugs" and stated that the "University of Florida researchers genetically ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Do dryer sheets repel insects?

I recently asked over on Judaism.SE about how to keep bees away from a Sukkah. I got a reply that suggested that by hanging dryer sheets around, bees would stay away. I looked around online and seem ...
13
votes
1answer
12k views

Is Vitamin B12 an effective mosquito repellent?

In a question on Travel.SE, a user claimed that Vitamin B12, taken regularly, can be an effective mosquito repellent. Is there any evidence behind this claim?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Does slapping biting mosquitoes attract more mosquitoes?

I've heard it several times as "common wisdom" that killing mosquitoes that bite you releases some chemicals that could be sensed by their kin from great distance. Thus, slapping mosquitoes would ...
31
votes
2answers
6k views

Is the Daddy Long Legs spider the world's most venomous?

The claim is the Daddy Long Legs (Pholcus phalangioides) spider is the most venomous spider in the world, but that its fangs are too small to be able to penetrate human skin. The wikipedia article ...
44
votes
1answer
29k views

Does swatting/killing a bee cause the hive to attack?

I used to hear this all the time when I was growing up. Just ignore bees, don't swat at or try to kill them, because if they die, they'll send a "signal" to the hive that will attract dozens more. ...
17
votes
1answer
7k views

Bumble bees shouldn't be able to fly?

There is a common belief that according to the known laws of physics, bumble bees should not be able to fly. The quote usually goes something like this: “Aerodynamically, the bumble bee ...
8
votes
0answers
719 views

Does Marmite keep away mosquitoes?

I saw this rather weak claim in this BBC news article: Several newspapers, including the Guardian, the Sun and the Daily Telegraph, have claimed the yeasty spread to be the perfect defence against ...
27
votes
2answers
10k views

Can ants lift 50 times their weight?

I've encountered this one many times over the years, mostly in those "useless facts" books and sites such as the one here. In fact, it's been one of those bits of trivia I seem to have ...
25
votes
2answers
5k views

Will a mere touch kill a butterfly?

I've heard many times that touching a butterfly will remove some "special" powder from its wings preventing it to ever fly again, effectively killing it or condemning it to die of starvation. Example ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Does garlic repel mosquitoes?

I have heard claims that garlic repels mosquitoes. Specifically, this site claims that Eating a diet heavy in onions and garlic can make you unattractive to mosquitoes. Is there any evidence ...
43
votes
3answers
4k views

Do you eat a certain number of spiders whilst you sleep?

Over the course of your life time, the average person eats X spider/insects/whatever whilst they are sleeping. X tends to vary according to who you ask. Is this just an urban legend?