Trust us, if there was something else to talk about in February other than the mating rituals of common household pests, we would. Yet, the days are still short, the weather is still miserable, and we’ve depleted our stock of Netflix binge material until the next season of The Great British Baking Show drops.
So, we come to you with some Valentine’s Day material. We scoured the internet for the strangest mating rituals of some of the most common Iowan pests. We apologize in advance.
Bed Bugs Take a Stab in the Dark
As if there weren’t enough reason to hate on the common bed bug, there is one more thing we’d like to add to the pile. Biologists call it “traumatic insemination”, and we think the term is self-explanatory.
Yet, for those of you that want it spelled out, the male bed bug literally stabs a female counterpart in the abdomen to make babies. If this sounds barbaric, it’s because every single thing about the household bedbug is. That’s precisely why we’ve made it our mission to rid the Des Moines region of every trace of bed bug.
Do you have a bed bug infestation? Call us now!
Honeybees: Members of the Mile High Club
The queen of a honeybee hive will exit her nest solely for mating with a male drone. No, they don’t fly to the nearest seedy motel but continue to fly through the air while doing the deed. Why must their mating be airborne? We don’t know—ask a biologist, not a pest control company! Unfortunately, for the drone this single act of reproduction is its last—the drone’s “endophallus” is ripped away
when it flies off, killing the drone. Think twice the next time you decide to spill your guts to a romantic interest!
Honeybees aren’t pests but are a valuable part of our environment. However, sometimes they’ll build their hives within a wall or crawlspace. If this happens, we can come to your home and safely remove the hive.
The Praying Mantis Falls Head Over Heels
Male insects have a hard life. Case in point; the male praying mantis. At the first waft of a female mantis’s pheromones, it searches out its mate. Upon discovery, it must dance for the female, impressing her enough to be chosen as a partner.
Then comes the mating. Once finished, you might think there’d be some pillow talk, or at the very least, an exchange of phone numbers. Instead, the female unceremoniously chews off the head of the male, eventually consuming his whole body as a means of providing nutrients to her impending offspring. Morbid, huh?
Black Widows Have a Kiss of Death
Male bees and praying mantises aren’t safe, and neither are male spiders. It makes us wonder why there aren’t more bug priests in the world; celibacy strikes us as a much safer approach if you’re a male insect. True to its name, the black widow spider mates with the male black widow, and when finished, gives him a single, loving nibble on his neck, which paralyzes him, making him the perfect post-coitus meal.
However, some male black widow spiders will bite the female, inseminate her via the traumatic insemination method we learned about earlier, and run away before they can be made into a meal. Nature is brutal!
Have you seen what you think is a black widow spider? Don’t touch it! They really are as venomous as they say, and when you see one, that can mean there are others. Give us a call and we’ll fix your black widow problem.
Meadow Voles Love for Life (Provided They’re Sober)
We thought we’d end on a positive note. Trust us; we were surprised as you are in regards to how much death and destruction hold sway in the bug world. Aren’t you glad you were born a human?
The meadow vole is a common rodent in Iowa. It burrows far below the ground and can be an elusive creature even if it wreaks havoc on your yard. Yet, as annoying as voles are, they have a heartwarming love life.
Biologists say that a male and female vole pair will mate for life. What is even more surprising is that, should one of the pair die, the other will not seek a new mate. However, in laboratory studies, plying the male vole with alcohol will lead to a surprising result; he’ll stray from his life mate and court the nearest female. No—we do not suggest you bring up the meadow vole in your next couples counseling session.
Do you have a vole problem? If you find dead grass and holes across your property, then you might. Let us know and we’ll take care of the issue.