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6 of the United States’ Craziest Insects

By Katie Nelson

According to the Smithsonian, there are approximately 91,000 species of insects living in the United States. Most of them are common types of bugs like ants, spiders, beetles, flies, and wasps. However, there are several species that are highly venomous, or just horrifying looking. They’re creatures you hope you never encounter in the wild, and especially not inside of your home! Luckily, only few of these insects are found in the Midwest, and not common for Spidexx customers to encounter. Here are our top six choices for the United States craziest insects below:

Arizona Bark Scorpion


‘Bark Scorpion’ by b d. Licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

These nocturnal creatures have a very painful sting, which the effects of can last up to 72 hours. They are the smallest and most painful of the 40 scorpions native to Arizona and neighboring southwest states; making them the most venomous scorpion in the United States. They’re only 2-3 inches in length, making it easy for them to enter homes during hot days. Deaths from their stings are rare, but they can united-states-tarantulacause convulsions and immobility.


Another nocturnal creature that lives in the southwest United States is tarantulas. They look scary with their large size, teeth, and hairy body, but they are only mildly venomous. They use their fangs, and sharp hairs on their body that they shoot out as a defense mechanism. Their bite is comparable to a bee or wasp sting, and their hairs will cause redness and irritation for several days. Their size varies, ranging from 4-11”, and colors vary depending on species. There are over 850 species of Tarantulas in the world, with 50 of them being native to the United States.

Brown Recluse

brown-recluseThe name, Brown Recluse, comes from its color and solitary nature. They are one of the most venomous spiders in the United States, and their venom will cause damage to the tissue around the bite. Despite being highly venomous, they’re not a fatal threat, as deaths from these spiders are so rare they’re aren’t any conclusive cases of death. They are distinguished by the dark violin pattern formed on their backs, and are found throughout most of the United States, including the Midwest.

Black Widow

black-widowAnother common venomous spider in the United States in the Black Widow spider, which are notable for their red hourglass shape on their backs for females. The prefer dark places like garages, basements, and barns, and females can be as large as 1.5”. Males are smaller in size, and their name comes from the females nature of eating males after centipedereproduction. Black Widows are also found in the Midwest.


Centipedes have narrow, segmented bodies that vary in length from less than 1-11”. Their name means “100 legs”, but they usually only have 15-30 pairs of legs. They will bite using claws in their legs, and their bites are rarely fatal. Symptoms of bites include redness and swelling at the area of the bite for around 48 hours. People more sensitive may experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, and heart tremors. They can be found in the Midwest, often in basements or areas with high moisture.

Red Harvester Ants


‘P6024845’ by Hunter Desportes. Licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0).

Red Harvester Ants are one of 22 species of Harvest Ants, and get their name from their nature of gathering and storing food for their colonies. They are typically ¼” to ½” in length, and red to dark brown in color. They are found west of the Mississippi River, going south into Florida. If threatened, they will sting, causing painful sores, and sometimes more severe reactions to people.

Look Out for Part 2 Next Month!

We hope you enjoyed our top 6 picks for the United States craziest insects. Next month we will post more of our favorite insects from the United States, as well as insects from around the world. If you’re seeing bugs around your home in Iowa or Nebraska, get a quote to protect your home today!