Why Do Some Insects Fight to the Death?

Insects are a major worry for gardeners all around the world. They can seriously damage crops and, in some cases, pose a threat to human life. Although this can be distressing, there is usually an easy way to deal with any unwanted insects. Most cases can be avoided by keeping your garden clean and free from any food scraps that might be enticingly appealing to hungry insects.

But there are certain insects that appear to derive a form of pleasure from fighting. While some people may find this interesting, it can also cause a lot of stress and anxiety for those who are the target of these bugs’ aggression. Why do some insects fight to the death? Let’s find out, shall we?

The Good Fight

In the course of evolution, some insects have developed a taste for human blood, particularly at the end of a long day. For these particular insects, a good fight probably represents their only chance to taste human flesh. In other words, when these bugs finally decide to fight, they will do so with all their might, because they know that once the fighting is over, they are going to suffer immensely.

For insects, death during a fight is an honorable thing. Being brave and standing one’s ground are two key factors to consider. First, it shows how much you want it. In other words, the more you fight, the more you demonstrate that you are a worthy opponent. Second, it forces the other insect to attack, which in turn makes you more vulnerable.

Because the victim is usually weaker, the winner is usually very clear. However, in some instances, the struggle can go on for a very long time, greatly impeding the growth and development of both insects. This is very unusual, but it does happen. If you ever witness a particularly fierce battle between honeybees and wasps, it is probably best to stay clear, as they have been known to viciously attack each other, with the winner being whoever is standing at the end of the fight.

The Stressful Fight

Even for those insects unable to taste human flesh, a good fight can still be extremely distressing. For starters, for many species of insects, including bees and wasps, pain is a significant factor in their lives. They have elaborate neural networks that allow them to feel pain, so any sort of confrontation or altercation is going to be extremely uncomfortable for them. Besides, what kind of life is this? They are constantly facing dangers and threats to their existence, so why should they spend their time engaged in idle chit-chat with other insects? All of this is very confusing and can cause a lot of stress, especially if they have not eaten for a while and their energy levels are low. This is why many insects avoid fights altogether, or at least try to flee from them whenever possible.

The Drawbacks Of The Good Fight

So far, we have discussed only the advantages of a good fight. Let’s now take a quick look at the drawbacks, shall we?

First of all, like I mentioned before, a good fight usually ends with one insect being victorious, something that can leave the loser feeling deflated, dejected, and somewhat distressed. This, in turn, can cause the insect to become aggressive and potentially harmful toward the winner, or any other insects that they come in contact with. Remember, they are battling for their survival, so any sort of opposition is going to be distressing, to say the least.

Secondly, even those insects who can experience human emotions can become overstimulated during a fight. This happens because the sensory neurons in their bodies are highly responsive to threats and unfamiliar surroundings, which in turn makes them more aggressive toward whatever they are perceiving as a danger to their well-being. It is therefore important to keep in mind that even the calmest of bees can become enraged during a fight, particularly if they feel cornered or that their territory is under threat. This makes them more susceptible to being harmed by accidents, or through acts of violence, such as being eaten by a cat or a dog.

Why Do Some Insects Appear To Prefer To Eat Tiny Animals?

One more thing that I should mention is that some insects are absolutely fiends when it comes to eating other insects. Like I said before, for some species of insects, the only way to feel truly happy is by consuming the flesh of others. The fact that these bugs are so used to feeding on animals makes them all the more dangerous. These types of insects are usually encountered in tropical climates, where the natural prey animals, such as ants and roaches, are much more abundant than humans. For these insects, humans are probably the closest thing to vegetables, so it is completely unsurprising that some species would prefer to eat us. This is the type of insect you will usually find feasting on garbage in your kitchen, enjoying the variety of insects you have kept as pets over the years.

Dealing With These Types Of Insects

As you might have guessed, most cases of insects attacking humans can be completely avoided by staying clear of their habitats and avoiding direct contact with them. But there are some cases where this is simply not possible. For instance, if you accidentally step on a caterpillar in the course of walking through a garden, or worse, if you are bit by one, there is usually nothing you can do to avoid the inevitable. Especially if it is a brown recluse spider, you are pretty much doomed, as these types of spiders have a tendency to attack dogs and cats, as well as humans, when provoked or frightened.

But even though it might be extremely distressing to find yourself at the receiving end of an angry insect’s bite, at least you know what has caused it. The truth is, even though many insects can bite with little or no provocation, only a few species are truly aggressive, dangerous, and capable of causing physical damage, as I mentioned earlier. This is important, because, as I have pointed out, death during a fight is an honorable thing for most insects, and it is usually the result of a battle with another insect that is much larger than you. If you are lucky, the bite will be relatively painless, but for the majority of the cases, excruciating pain will be the least of your worries. This is mostly due to the species of insect you have been bitten by. Some types of insects are known to secrete a substance that blocks or prevents the body’s natural painkillers from taking effect, rendering the victim easy prey for any nearby predators. In other words, once the fight is over, the biggest and strongest insect wins, and the little guy (or gal) gets taken out for a bite, or worse.

Many insects, including bees, wasps, and tarantulas, are social creatures and will generally only sting if they feel threatened, or if they feel that their nest, their food, or their survival is in danger. This makes them a lot less dangerous but also makes them a lot more aggressive, as a way to defend themselves and their territory. As a result, it may be advisable to give them a wide berth, even if you know that they are not aggressive toward humans.

There is also a type of insect, known as a parasitoid, that preys on and attacks other insects. These types of insects completely depend on killing other creatures for survival, so while they might not pose a threat to humans, they can still cause us a great deal of anxiety, as we have already discussed. It is also advisable, in most cases, to stay clear of these insects if you want to avoid any unpleasant interactions.

So, in most cases, it is advisable to remain calm and avoid any sort of confrontation with an insect. If you feel that a fight is unavoidable, then fight only when your life is in danger. Most importantly, once the fight is over, make sure that the other insect feels defeated. This will help prevent further attacks and any possible injuries that you might sustain.

In conclusion, while many insects are beneficial to humans, there are certain types that can cause us a lot of stress and anxiety. This is why it is generally best to stay clear of these types of insects and let nature take its course, as most cases can be avoided. However, if you are unfortunate enough to be bitten by one of these species, there is usually nothing you can do to avoid the inevitable. Be brave, stand your ground, and try to see the bright side of things. At least you will experience a unique and exciting form of agony that many other people have not lived through before.