SUMMER GUIDE: Good bugs, bad bugs

  • Article by: KATY READ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 5, 2013 - 3:44 PM

They might look creepy, but are all bugs bad? Here's our kids' guide to telling the difference between the ones that won’t hurt you and the ones to steer clear of.

They may buzz around your head or crawl on your skin, and occasionally bite, but in most cases insects (like beetles and bees), and their relatives (like centipedes and spiders) do not cause harm.

Jeff Hahn, author of “Insects of the North Woods,” (Kollath+Stensaas, 2009) and Vera Krischik, co-members of the University of Minnesota Extension Service’s Insects Team, provided some facts about 10 of the most common Minnesota bugs. Both entomologists stressed that, in general, kids should not be afraid of bugs.

“There are pictures of me in diapers holding bottles of bugs,” Krischik said. “I was fascinated by them from the beginning, I never got creeped out by them.”

Today’s kids have access to so many entertaining activities, she’s afraid they won’t slow down enough to observe, and develop an interest, these little crawling creatures. But they should.

“They’re the most common animal on earth,” Krischik said. “They’re very interesting, the way they’ve found to make a living.”

  
 
Close