Adam's SourcesAdam Ruins Everything

Adam Ruins Little Bugs

Adam Ruins Little Bugs

Don’t let Adam’s facts bug you as he uncovers the benefits of spiders, serves up knowledge on why we should be eating more bugs as a protein source, and illustrates the benefits of little bugs on your gut health.

SOURCES

"The average home has 61 insect species in it at all times!"

Misha Leong, Matthew A. Bertone, Keith M. Bayless, Robert R. Dunn, and Michelle D. Trautwein. “Exoskeletons and economics: indoor arthropod diversity increases in affluent neighbourhoods.” Biology Letters, 2 Aug 2016. 


"Oh not at all -- wealthy homes like yours actually have way MORE bugs, because their big fancy yards support more biodiversity!"

Carrie Arnold. "Wealthier Homes Have More Kinds of Bugs," National Geographic, 2 Aug 2016.


"Spiders are WAY more afraid of humans than we are of them!"

Annie Sneed. "People don’t swallow spiders in their sleep “Fact or Fiction?: People Swallow 8 Spiders a Year While They Sleep.Scientific American, 15 Apr 2014.


“Spiders typically only bite if they feel THREATENED.”

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “Venomous Spiders.” CDC, 1 Jul 2016.


"Less than ONE TENTH of ONE-PERCENT of spiders have venom that has ANY harmful effect on humans!"

Lizzy Lowe. "Is there anything good about that spider in the corner of my room?The Guardian, 26 Feb 2017.


"And their fangs are primarily for biting other INSECTS -- most aren't strong enough to penetrate human skin!"

Steven R. Offerman, G. Patrick Daubert, and Richard F. Clark. “The Treatment of Black Widow Spider Envenomation with Antivenin Latrodectus Mactans: A Case Series,”The Permanente Journal. Summer 2011.


"I haven't killed any humans in the U.S. since 1993!"

"Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers National Data Collection System (NPDS)." American Association of Poison Control Centers. 1993-2016.  


"Humans hear 'one bite from the funnel spidah means yer dead in a DAY' -- but they IGNORE the fact that I 'aven't killed any a' them since 1981!"

"Funnel Web Spiders." Australian Museum, 27 Oct 2016.


"In a study of 600 people who thought they were bitten by a brown recluse spider, 80% of the 'bites' turned out to be caused by some OTHER bug. . ."

Jeffrey Ross Suchard. ““Spider bite” Lesions Are Usually Diagnosed As Skin and
Soft-Tissue Infections.
” Journal of Emergency Medicine, Vol 41, Iss 5 Nov 2009.


"...or, in some cases, it was just HERPES!"

Nadia Drake. "Why You Need Not Fear The Poor, Misunderstood Brown Recluse Spider.Wired, 15 Nov 2013.


"COWS kill 20 people per year, DOGS kill 28. . ."

Christopher Ingraham. "Chart:The animals that are most likely to kill you this summer," The Washington Post, 16 Jun 2015.


"...and DEER kill up to 150!"

"Facts + Statistics: Deer vehicle collisions," Insurance Information Institute, 2016.


"Spider venom contains thousands of unknown chemical compounds that might someday help treat muscular dystrophy, chronic pain..."

Brian Palmer. "The case for spider conservation: They keep pests from devouring humans’ food supply.The Washington Post, 21 Jul 2014. 


"...and even erectile dysfunction!"

Gwen Pearson. “GMO Spider Venom May Be The Next Viagra.” Wired, 16 Feb 2015.


All the spiders in the world eat about 18x their weight in bugs and pests—that’s 460 metric million tons of insects like flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes. . . and other bugs that would destroy our crops!

Steve Mirsky. "If You Don't Like Insects, You Should Love Spiders.Scientific American, 1 Jun 2017.


"If we got rid of spiders, we'd face WORLDWIDE FAMINE!"

Brian Palmer. "The case for spider conservation: They keep pests from devouring humans' food supply.The Washington Post, 21 Jul 2014. 


"It's essentially a spider of the sea."

Graham Templeton. "Lobsters really are cockroaches of the sea.Geek, 26 Jan 2015.


"The only reason the FDA sets ANY limits on bug parts in food at all is so you won't NOTICE them!"

Kyle Hill. "I Hate to Break it to You, but You Already Eat Bugs.Scientific American, 5 Jun 2013.


"Our produce and canned foods are FULL of little bug bits. Broccoli, spinach, and canned tomatoes can contain heads, legs, thoraxes -- even whole insects."

Kyle Hill. "I Hate to Break it to You, but You Already Eat Bugs.Scientific American, 5 Jun 2013.


"And if you eat 100 kilograms of chocolate, you'll have eaten a whole kilogram of BUGS."

Kyle Hill. "I Hate to Break it to You, but You Already Eat Bugs.Scientific American, 5 Jun 2013.


"Up to 5% of hops in each batch of beer is BUGS."

Kyle Hill. "I Hate to Break it to You, but You Already Eat Bugs.Scientific American, 5 Jun 2013.


"The red dye in sausages, milkshakes, and yogurts is produced from SCALE insects."

Gwen Pearson. "You know what makes great food coloring? Bugs.Wired, 10 Sept 2015.


"And excretions from the LAC BUG are used in the coating on jelly beans and other candies, and to create a BEAUTIFUL fondant on cakes."

Dennis Hollier. "You Eat Bugs (And It Doesn't Bother You At All)," Forbes, 27 Mar 2017.


"You've demonstrated why, on average, humans UNKNOWINGLY ingest around one to two pounds of flies, maggots, and other bugs each year."

Layla Eplett. "Rub a Dub Dub, Is It Time to Eat Grubs?Scientific American. 4 Jun 2013.


"But if EVERYONE starts eating meat like Americans, raising that amount of livestock will require MORE LAND AREA than we even have ROOM for on the planet!"

Damian Carrington. "Eat insects and fake meat to cut impact of livestock on the planet – study.The Guardian, 5 May 2017.


"If we replaced just HALF the world's meat consumption with bugs, we’d use one-third less land for agriculture."

Signe Dean. "Switching Just 50% of Our Meat to Insects Can Seriously Reduce Land Use.Science Alert, 17 May 2012. 


"Farming crickets requires WAY less water than farming lean meat."

Holly Van Hare. “The future of protein really bugs us ('cause it's crickets).” Los Angeles Times, 7 Dec 2017.


"You're EXTREMELY unlikely to catch a disease from a bug, but humans are very vulnerable to swine flu, avian flue, and mad cow disease."

Layla Eplett. "Rub a Dub Dub, Is It Time to Eat Grubs?Scientific American. 4 Jun 2013.


"2 BILLION people from countries all around the world are entomophagous, or "bug eaters" -- from Africa to Asia to the Americas to Europe!"

Jennifer S. Holland. "U.N. Urges Eating Insects; 8 Popular Bugs to Try.National Geographic, 14 May 2013.


"Our skin may look smooth, but it’s actually a 3D landscape with deep crevices, pits and seas of oily textures, and thousands of tiny arachnids called DEMODEX living in your hair follices!"

Maya Wei-Haas. "Your Skin’s Microbial Inhabitants Might Stick Around, Even If You Wash.Smithsonian, 5 May 2016.


"They just come out at night, have sex, lay eggs...and, fun fact, since they don’t have an anus, they hold in all their poop 'til they die!"

Joseph Stromberg. "Don't freak out, but there are thousands of mites living all over your face.Vox, 1 Jun 2015. 


"Rest in poop."

Lucy Jones. "These microscopic mites live on your face.BBC, 8 May 2015.


"Even with treatment, demodex communities rebound after about six weeks."

Lucy Jones. "These microscopic mites live on your face.BBC, 8 May 2015.


"Your gut is home to BILLIONSTRILLIONSof healthy microbes!"

Mioses Velasquez-Manoff. "Among Trillions of Microbes in the Gut, a Few Are Special.Scientific American, 1 Mar 2015. 


"And many of these industrious little creatures break down hard-to-digest products into vitamins..."

Rob Stein. "Finally, A Map of All The Microbes on Our Bodies.NPR, 13 Jun 2012.


"And crowd out BAD microbes that cause disease and viruses."

Rob Stein. "Finally, A Map of All The Microbes on Our Bodies.NPR, 13 Jun 2012.


"And, they teach our immune system to recognize these harmful invaders, and produce an anti-inflammatory response compoundsto fight them."

Beth Mole. "Here's how gut microbes train your immune system to dodge disease.Ars Technica, 6 May 2016.


"Well, we have to be careful with antibiotics -- certain strains can trigger DEADLY C-diff infections in some people, which cause diarrhea and WIPE OUT all that good bacteria."

"C. difficile infection." Mayo Clinic, 18 Jun 2016.


"But remarkably, researchers have found a way to get them back -- through fecal matter transplants!"

Carl Zimmer. "How Microbe Defend And Define Us.The New York Times, 12 Jul 2010.


"You're literally more BUG than human!"

James Gallagher. "More than half your body is not human.BBC, 10 Apr 2018.


"What we're disgusted by isn't set in stone!"

"Crickets And Cannibals: Unpacking The Complicated Emotion Of Disgust.Hidden Brain, 26 Mar 2018.


For More on These Topics

This NPR piece delves into the ailments mistaken for spider bites. 

This piece from the journal Natureargues that bugs are the “future of food.” 

This video is a great breakdown of some cutting-edge microbiome research by a leading expert in the field.

Here's the website for the American Gut Project, the citizen science research project discussed in the episode!