Top 5 Scariest Looking Insects – Making Your Skin Crawl

Insects occupy a significant role in our society: they take care of the garbage in our environment, and they can also “take care” of other, more annoying or dangerous insects as well. This is a look at some of the top scariest looking insects that could be in your own backyard; but they also offer a unique service for your lawn or garden, and are worth appreciating when given the chance. Always remember, like most wildlife they’re more afraid of you than you are of them and won’t likely lash out at you unless provoked, so feel free to extend social distancing to these insects too!

Number One: The Cicada Killer

It’s always a telltale sign of the summertime; the sounds of cicadas rattling off their cries that combine into a loud screeching noise when the wind is blowing. Cicadas are harmless to humans, but they can definitely be categorized as a nuisance bug. Luckily for us, we’re not the only ones taking to getting rid of them. Lying in the grass is The Terminator for cicadas: Sphecius Speciousus, aka: “The Cicada Killer”.

They are a species of wasp who are also harmless to humans, though they sure do look like the Arnold Schwartzenegger version of them. According to an article by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, the females are the hunter killer of the sexes, even though the males are the bigger beasts.

But the Extension relieves us when it says: “Although female cicada killers can sting, they usually ignore people and are rarely aggressive. On the other hand, males are often territorial and may act aggressively. Here’s the deal though: males don’t possess stingers and are completely harmless. Like some ‘guard dogs’, their bark is worse than their bite.” They may pester you with their buzzing, but after you’ve left the area, they won’t bother following.

Number Two: The Daddy Long Leg

An up-close photo of these spooky-looking spiders can look like instant nightmare fuel for some people, and they even have a reputation of being poisonous. Turns out, they are not only harmless to us, they aren’t even considered spiders! That’s according to an article by Fermilab.

Here’s the deal though, they are literally little stinkers. Fermilab says they “…Excrete smells to repel others.” They say daddy long legs are arachnids and are actually in closer relations with the scorpion family! You may not smell them yourself, but we don’t recommend trying to one way or the other.

No doubt you’ve seen these bugs floating in pools or on the patio, but they have been on earth for a long  time! Fermilab says their species have been included in fossils over 400 million years old. Surprisingly they live in every continent on the planet except Antarctica!

They can come of a little scary, but do not mind their presence. They’re just enjoying the nice day outside with you and intend you no harm.

Number Three: The Praying Mantis

This one is more of a toss-up. Some people think they are neat-looking bugs and that they bring good luck! But for those who are generally scared of bugs, this one certainly looks interesting to say the least and will likely seem worse than it really is. 

The Mantis can look bigger in person but they have a unique behavior and function in the insect world. National Geographic says they feast on moths, flies, grasshoppers and other pests, but are also not a threat to humans. They can bite, but that’s only if you pick them up and go in for a pet, and it’s not deadly.

Otherwise, if you see them, they are most likely holding absolutely still in a yoga-type pose just minding their own business. Take a picture with one and send it to your friends! Just don’t mess around with their day.

Number Four: The Hercules/Rhinoceros Beetles

Now, to be fair: most of the beetles you’ll see aren’t going to look like this tank of a bug. The image shows the spectacular “Rhinocerous beetle, (Dynastes rhinoceros)”. According to an article by “ScienceNews”, it uses its horns like the arms of a plier to lift and squeeze an opponent and toss him onto the ground very similarly to the Hercules beetle and easily confused for one another.

While some can have horns and can be large, the main beetle you’ll probably see are “ground beetles”. The Texas A&M Agrilife Extension says those types of beetles are harmless, but can be a nuisance if they come into your home in large numbers – or scaring the wits out of some unsuspecting camper or picnic enthusiast.

They mostly feed on other insects, and some of the bigger ones can be tough. They are generally considered harmless to people, but can bite when provoked.

Number Five: The Dragon Fly

Another toss-up kinda scary-looking bug, but these can be more of a physical annoyance or scare rather than a horror-show looking pest. They are unique as they have the ability to hover in place, and can often stick around your space too long when out for a walk or near the yard.

Never fear; these are safe to be around, but you have to go out of your way to be mean to them if you want to get bit. The Worldwide Dragonfly Association says they mostly eat other flying insects. Up close, they are beautiful and complex, even giving us clues into our own hover technology, but that doesn’t mean they won’t dive-bomb you and give you a good scare.

A lot of the scariest looking pests have one thing in common: they aren’t going to hurt you. They look the way they look and act the way they act to scare the predators away, not us humans!

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