In Florida we have the (mis)fortune to face down and defeat some of the creepiest and most unique pests in North America. It would be nice to think that experience prepares us for any and everything. However, it unfortunately does not. There are a wide variety of exotic pests worldwide that will send a chill up your spine. Read on to learn all about these unique and exotic pests.

The Goliath Birdeater

The birdeater is a huge tarantula native to the northern portions of South America. It is the largest spider in the world based on size and weight. It weighs about a third of a pound and measures nearly a foot in length. Their size enables a wide and varying diet. It subsists on everything from snakes, rodents, and frogs to other arthropods and worms.

Travelers should not worry too much about running into one of these spiders. They really stick to the phrase “They’re more scared of you than you are of them.” The tarantulas let you know to stay away by rubbing the small hairs on their body against one another. The hissing noise it produces can be heard up to 15 feet away. This gives you plenty of warning to stay far far away from this huge spider.

Giant Walking Stick

Anybody else notice the trend of large critters here? That’s because exotic locales have lesser human populations, so animals get bigger. The giant version of the family of stick bugs is an inhabitant of North America, Australia, and the area around the Mediterranean Sea. These big boys (and girls) measure an average of nearly two feet long.

The bugs are not dangerous, but they are fragile and rather rare in the wild, so avoid handling them if possible. However, this might be difficult if you’re hiking somewhere rural, because their camouflage makes them nearly impossible to spot. Their ability to hold entirely still makes the task of finding them even more difficult.

Hercules Beetle

The Hercules beetle is a type of rhinoceros beetle, which means it has a hue, mean looking, horn on the front of it. Female Hercules beetles do not have horns, so they tend to measure two to three inches in length. However, the male beetles measure about seven inches with the horn included. That measurement makes it the largest type of beetle in the world.

The Hercules is definitely the strongest beetle in the world. In fact, it is proportionally the strongest creature that we know of on the entire planet! They carry up to 850 times its own weight. The equivalent would be an average human female carrying a fully-grown male killer whale.

Despite its huge strength, the Hercules beetle is not a carnivore. It only feasts on plants. Their favorite snacks are fresh and rotting fruit, although their larvae eat wood.

Come Back Next Week

For more information on exotic and unusual pests.