Ed. Note: Definition of Unnecessary Carnage
We here at What’s That Bug? have a long history of trying to educate the public about the importance of understanding and appreciating the complex interaction of all life on our planet, and the senseless killing of insects prompted us to begin our Unnecessary Carnage tag many years ago. We also try to balance the perception of an actual threat from a potentially dangerous species as differentiated from merely killing an unknown creature. We fully understand that households with curious small children might not want Black Widow spiders spinning webs in dark secluded places where children might play. We understand that people who are allergic to stinging insects might not want Bald Faced Hornets nesting by the back door. Right now Kissing Bugs are in the news, and we understand that media driven hysteria is prompting people to see similarities between the physiology of Kissing Bugs and other members of the suborder Heteroptera. We are having a difficult time expecting people to read about the dangers of a bite from a Kissing Bug, and them not having the time to research the identity of a similar looking True Bug that they encounter, and sometimes killing and saving the suspected Kissing Bug is the only way to ensure safety. Hopefully our response that the corpse is NOT a Kissing Bug will prevent the person from killing additional members of the benign species. We consider such a reaction to be justifiable, and hopefully our educational efforts will eventually have a positive effect on the paranoia that is clearly pervasive at this time because of media coverage of Kissing Bugs. Our personal message to Curious Girl on this subject is that we have to strike a balance and that sometimes killing a benign species can be considered justifiable or at least understandable.
Subject: Kissing bug?
Location: Northern ohio
November 29, 2015 7:05 am
We found this bug in our shed and are curious that it could be a kissing bug. We have two small children and want to make sure that they are safe.
This is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, a benign species. Though it has a superficial resemblance to a Kissing Bug, they are in fact different species from a different family that share some physical similarities because they are classified together in the suborder Heteroptera. Generally we consider the senseless killing of benign species to be Unnecessary Carnage, but we understand that your actions are prompted by recent media coverage of the a potentially serious bite from a Kissing Bug.