Teach Your Children – Insect Myths

mythSanta Claus. The moon is made of green cheese. If you swallow your gum, it will create a big ball in your stomach. Just a few of the playful myths we inflict on our young’uns when their minds are impressionable. Be careful, though. You don’t want them going through the rest of their lives believing in the tooth fairy.

When it comes to bugs, some of the more mischievous kids gather their information about insects from movies and teevee shows. As adults, we know most of the stuff is pap. Really? Mothra?

Let’s dispel some of the untruths that we subject our children to in the interest of good clean fun. Not that any parent enjoys uttering the word “Sucker” to a small one. That’s just mean and breeds mistrust when we really want to teach them something real.

The Top Lies

  • Kill all insects!
    Whoa. This would be a really bad idea. If your child sees you smash every bug, they’re getting the wrong message. Certainly, there are some insects that don’t get along well with us humans. But if we lived in a world without these critters, our species wouldn’t last too long. You don’t need to go all Zen on them. Teach your children to respect life no matter how small or ugly it may be. The little crawlies break-down the waste we leave behind. Some help plants pollinate. Spiders keep other bugs from taking over our homes and gardens. They are the same as any other wildlife. Don’t kill stuff just to eliminate an unwarranted threat.
  • Lady bugs are not like turtles.
    On a turtle, you can usually tell its approximate age by counting the shapes on its belly. Not so with ladybugs. The little black dots on its back stay the same after they become adults. While it might be a fun game, it’s not a measure of age. For instance there’s one variety called the 7-spotted ladybug. It will always have seven spots. Never changes, no matter how old it becomes.
  • Every spider spins a web.
    Quite a few of these creatures give-off a Halloween flair to them. However, trapdoor, wolf and jumping spiders chase-down their meal rather than trap them in a web. On the other hand, all spiders create silk. Some just don’t use it to weave.
  • Honey is sucked-up by bees to make the sticky stuff.
    Actually, there’s not a drop of honey in any flower. Instead, flora are containers of nectar. The bees collect that stuff in their stomach and carry it back to the hive. Once at home base, there are other worker bees that convert the nectar into honey and store it in the combs. That’s where they flap their wings to evaporate the water, leaving behind honey.
  • A bug is not an animal.
    As long as we don’t bring a bug back from some other planet, they’re all part of the same stuff we are. In other words, they are indeed part of the animal kingdom.
  • When a bug makes a noise, it uses its mouth to croon.
    Humans can talk and sing because we have vocal cords. Bugs don’t have any such thing. They make their sounds using other parts of their body. Take a cricket as an example. They chirp by rubbing together their wings. Remember, sound is merely a vibration. Doesn’t matter how you vibrate a noise, if you can hear it, it’s a sound.
  • Not every critter in the insect world is a bug.
    It would take a while to really explain how this words, but suffice it to say that ticks, spiders, flies and beetles are really not bugs. They belong to a whole different class in the animal kingdom.
  • Every bug is out to get you.
    Sure, there are some nasty little monsters out there with stingers or pinchers, but the only reason most bugs mess with you is because they think you’re about to mess with them. It’s not that mosquitoes are vicious stickers because they hate you. They’re hungry and blood is their meal of choice.
  • All spiders have 8-legs.
    That’s true. But there are a lot of other creatures that have over a half-dozen legs. In reality, spiders have four pairs of two legs. That could include a scorpion or a tick.
  • The tooth fairy is a cheapskate.
    No its not. It’s a lesson in economics. If every time a kid put a tooth under a pillow a twenty-dollar bill would appear, we’d have a lot of children with dentures.

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