The human species is considered the top of the food chain and has a longer average lifespan than almost any other species. However, there are several species of pests that like to make our lives miserable while they can. We may outlive them, but they can wreck havoc in their short lifetimes.
- Cockroaches – There are thousands of species of roaches with varying life expectancies, but the American cockroach has the longest lifespan of 1 to 2 years. These tough buggers can live without food for over a month and without air for up to 45 minutes and will probably outlast humans as a species.
- Ants – These picnic pests can also inhabit your home and cause all kinds of problems. Even though their average life expectancy is only 90 days, the queen can live up to 30 years and workers up to 1 to 3 years.
- Mice – Even though these pesky rodents only live about 2 years, they can reproduce exponentially in that amount of time. They are capable of producing a litter of 10-12 offspring every 50 days. That means one female mouse can produce 150 to 175 more mice in her lifetime!
- Rats – These disgusting rodents are like mice on steroids. They’re larger in size and can live up to 5 years in captivity. I guarantee their life expectancy would be much less if I found one anywhere near my house.
- Spiders – With over 40,000 different species of spiders there life expectancy varies, but most live only 1 to 2 years. However, the tarantula can live up to 20 years. Female spiders can lay up to 3,000 eggs at a time, so even though we live longer, they far outnumber us.
- Termites – These pests like to eat houses and can be really hard to get rid of. They live in colonies that can number from the hundreds to the millions and have a life span of 1 to 4 years. I think they could devour a good sized house in that amount of time.
- Flies – Even though these pests can be very annoying, they only live for about 2 days. The problem is they spend their entire lifetime annoying people and reproducing. Flies that bite, like the horse fly and their cousins the deer fly, are the worst.
- Mosquitoes – These pesky blood-suckers have a life cycle of 4 stages. The first 3 aquatic stages last from 5 to 14 days and adults live up to 8 weeks. During their lifetime the male mosquito hangs out supping nectar while the females are out for blood so they can reproduce and spread diseases.
- Wood ticks – These creepy, crawly critters are found in wooded areas and also like to suck your blood. Their life expectancy is about a year, but ticks can carry diseases that can really shorten ours.
- Bedbugs – Clothing made overseas and increased foreign travel has revived the bedbug population in the United States. These tiny nocturnal pests like to hide out in your bedding during the day and come out to feed at night. With a consistent source of food they can live up to 10 months.
Even though these pests have fairly short life expectancies, we would like to make them even shorter. They are all called pests for very good reasons, because in their short lifetimes they can be very detrimental to humans. Besides being annoying, they can spread diseases and destroy property. Since they reproduce so quickly and in such great numbers, they are not likely to ever be eradicated, but we definitely want to do our best to control their populations.