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Wicked Bugs; The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

Wicked Bugs; The Louse That Conquered Napoleon's Army & Other Diabolical Insects

Ratings:

3.9

(64)
|Views: 616 |Likes:
Published by Workman Publishing
In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world,Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes—creaturesthat infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s mostpainful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the“bookworms” that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugsdelves into the extraordinary powers of six- and eight-legged creatures.With wit, style, and exacting research, Stewart has uncovered the most terrifying and titillatingstories of bugs gone wild. It’s an A to Z of insect enemies, interspersed with sections thatexplore bugs with kinky sex lives (“She’s Just Not That Into You”), creatures lurking in the cupboard(“Fear No Weevil”), insects eating your tomatoes (“Gardener’s Dirty Dozen”), and phobiasthat feed our (sometimes) irrational responses to bugs (“Have No Fear”).Intricate and strangely beautiful etchings and drawings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs capturediabolical bugs of all shapes and sizes in this mixture of history, science, murder, and intriguethat begins—but doesn’t end—in your own backyard
In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world,Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes—creaturesthat infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s mostpainful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the“bookworms” that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugsdelves into the extraordinary powers of six- and eight-legged creatures.With wit, style, and exacting research, Stewart has uncovered the most terrifying and titillatingstories of bugs gone wild. It’s an A to Z of insect enemies, interspersed with sections thatexplore bugs with kinky sex lives (“She’s Just Not That Into You”), creatures lurking in the cupboard(“Fear No Weevil”), insects eating your tomatoes (“Gardener’s Dirty Dozen”), and phobiasthat feed our (sometimes) irrational responses to bugs (“Have No Fear”).Intricate and strangely beautiful etchings and drawings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs capturediabolical bugs of all shapes and sizes in this mixture of history, science, murder, and intriguethat begins—but doesn’t end—in your own backyard

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Publish date: May 3, 2011
Added to Scribd: Apr 02, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9781616200633
List Price: $18.95

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10/01/2014

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9781616200633

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cmbohn reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Here's what I learned:It's probably not a brown recluse spider bite.I'm never ever going to the Amazon. Ever.I'm also never going to Japan. That's partly because of sushi, Godzilla, and radiation, but the radiation is going to make Godzilla and those Asian Giant Hornets even bigger.No matter how bad my day is, thanks to disgusting insects, someone is having a worse day.I'm even more thankful for clean water.Not for everyone, but I enjoyed it.
satyridae reviewed this
Rated 4/5
I enjoyed this, even though I kept saying, "Ick. Oh, yuck. Really? Gross!" all the way through. Guinea worms and bot flies and parasitic wasps and killer hornets... and even more. I was mesmerized and horrified and bemused and educated. Just the thing I needed.
teknokat reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Stewart may not be a formally trained entomologist, but she clearly has an admiration for crawly things. Even so, if nuclear testing were to create a race of giant man-eating ants, I bet Stewart would be screaming and tossing Molotov cocktails with the rest of us.

Since, like bugs, we humans are rather species-centric, Stewart has focused this exposé primarily on how insects have impacted mankind through the ages. Here are some examples:

1) The boll weevil infestation that devastated the cotton industry in the South during the late 1800's 'helped' growers make the move to more profitable crops. (Stewart is definitely a 'glass is half full' kind of gal.)

2) The natural tendency for bees and wasps to sting anybody who pisses them off makes them a handy weapon. Ancient Mayans and Greeks liked to fling hives at their enemies, and during World War I the Germans would bury them as a sort of natural land mine.

3) Stewart lists various bug related phobias. The one at the top of my list is helminthophobia, the fear of being infested with worms. My paranoia does at least have a rational basis: I once spotted worm bodies in the manure that the local wild horses leave around our house. (Nature is such a garden of good and evil.)

Despite giving me the heebie-jeebies, this book was a neat read. Especially liked how it embedded scientific data and history in an easy to read anecdotal format. And the plentiful line drawings were really well done.
glade1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
I enjoyed this little book and its companion. They are lighthearted and contain interesting information but are not as in-depth as some might hope. My comments for this one echo mine for Wicked Plants. Wish there were photos, it left me hungering for more information on some species, etc. But overall I enjoyed both books.
sarahfine_1 reviewed this
A sometimes bonechilling, always absorbing collection of world-changing bugs. Some of them devour homes and crops, others pack a painful sting, and still others prefer to eat people! Short essay-like vignettes provide the scientific rap sheet, along with an examination of each critter's modus operandi, historical influence, and solutions (if any) which have been found to stop it. You may find yourself, as I did, morbidly obsessing over every detail of that miniscule moving dot you just found under your plant, but at least you'll have a new fount of sparkling dinner conversation. Well, on second thought, maybe wait until after eating!
dickmanikowski reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Fascinatingly quirky collection which examines the ingenious ways in which insects and arachnids and the parasites which they transmit prey upon other living creatures, including us. This is a companion book to the author's earlier work, WICKED PLANTS.
corcra_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
This book, as the title suggests, revolves around the world of bugs, or rather the more sinister bugs. The plus of this book are the wonderful illustrations. I enjoyed the fact that these illustrations are both realistic as well as whimsical. One whimsical illustration shows the 'Zombie' insects in classic zombie horror movie poses. The facts provide by the author were interesting even if some of these facts were not completely clear. One example is, the history of the bacteria that cased bubonic plague is still debated and probably not the same strain as the Plague of Justinian. There were some defined chapters but I wish the bugs would have been better grouped into chapters such as dangerous, destructive etc. Overall, this is a great introduction into the more wicked world of insect that anyone can read, but if you have a greater knowledge about insect this book is a bit too basic.
lizphoto_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
"Wicked Bugs" made me feel very satisfied, the kinda of satisfaction you get after a good scratch of a a very itchy body part. I loved this book, not only was it informative but it was funny to boot. Not being a expert on bugs or wanting to become one, Stewart gives just the right amount of information on bugs to be terrified by them or love them. The drawings of the bugs were a nice addition instead of the same old pictures you find on google. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys bugs or who just want to creep out their friends!
akblanchard_1 reviewed this
Rated 4/5
Much like the author's earlier work, Wicked Plants, this book provides a glimpse into the extraordinary habits of insects. The book's short chapters make it enjoyable to read, but it's not very substantial. I found that once I was through reading it, I didn't retain much of the information.
fuzzi_1 reviewed this
Rated 3/5
A friend passed this book on to me, and after I started reading it, I wanted to finish it in one sitting. It's a highly entertaining series of descriptions and stories regarding certain insects/bugs/spiders/etc. Not for the overly squeamish, nor for those who have some sort of bug phobia (reading the part about cockroaches made my toes curl!)

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