Wicked Bugs: Amy Stewart in the BBC Gardening Blog

I generally don’t consider a bug that eats a plant to be wicked. Plants are, after all, the food supply for many insects; I’m hardly going to blame them for eating their dinner. No, a wicked bug is one that has caused catastrophic, widespread suffering, or inflicted pain and disease and misery on us. Mowing down the lettuce or boring into the melon vines is nothing in comparison to the assassin bug that bit Charles Darwin, the giant centipede that terrorized a Londoner, or the Brazilian wandering spider that bit a pub chef.

And yes, I’m using the term “bug” loosely to refer not just to insects, but to a variety of creepy, crawling, and slithering creatures that infest not just our gardens, but our nightmares as well.

So for the most part, I’m at peace with my bug-ridden garden. But even ordinary garden pests can be terrifying in their own way. Consider the following:

To read the rest of this piece, click here to proceed to the BBC blog.

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