Bugs you’re probably scared of, but shouldn’t be

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) -  We see them around from time to time, either around the home or maybe out in the yards. They can pop out of nowhere and give us a startle. While for many they present a source of fear, they really shouldn't, and they're actually great for nature. I'm talking about bugs, and we're running down News with a Twist's top three bugs you're probably scared of, but shouldn't be.

scorpion

Starting us off are scorpions! Scorpions get a bad rap because of their claws and stingers, but most scorpion stings hurt a lot less than a bee sting. Besides, the only poisonous scorpion in the United States doesn’t even live near us! It’s way out in Arizona! One cool thing about scorpions: they glow neon under a black light due to a chemical found in their skeleton, which is actually outside their body! Like most arthropods, scorpions are great at keeping the insect population in check. While not native to our area, they aren't too far away. You can find them near Alexandria and areas to the north.

roach

Second on our list are roaches! Roaches are probably the most common insect that folks don’t like. Did you know there are over 4,000 different species of roaches?! However, only about a dozen of these species can actually live inside your home. And while you might not want them indoors, they’re actually great to have outside! Roaches that live in nature are great decomposers. The take the old organic matter like wood and leaves that fall to the ground and chew it up and help return it into good, healthy soil.

spider

Finally, the big one that a lot of folks are afraid of are spiders! But spiders are amazing in terms of pest control, and seeing them around outdoors is a sign that your insect pests are being held in check. As for being dangerous, Zack Lemann, Chief Entomologist at the Audubon Insectarium, explains why that's not always the case: "There certainly are spiders out there that can be dangerous, but they are so few and far between. And you have to work hard to be bitten by a spider... so there are probably better things to worry about."

As for pest control, spiders eat roaches, mosquitoes, flies, silverfish and pretty much any other bug that you would consider a nuisance inside your home. Think of a household and garden pest, there's definitely a species of spider that will feed on it.

So the next time you see on of these creepy critter, don't be afraid. You just might make a new friend.

spider-in-hand

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.