insects

Swarms of insects cause chaos on bridge in Japan

Incredible photos show an extraordinary number of insects wreaked havoc on drivers, closing a bridge and causing accidents on the weekend.

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W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 creepiest Japanese insects 【Weird Top Five】

You’ll never let your feet touch the ground again.

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Hermaphrodite beetle discovery brings Twitter user’s family unexpected fame

Sometimes fortune just happens to fall – er, crawl – right into your lap!

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Locust and wormwood soft serve ice cream now available in Japan!

Can you guess which prefecture is serving up the local speciality?

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Tips on protecting yourself from the stinging inferno of Japan’s “burn bugs”

Whatever you do, don’t smack it!

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They have teeth in their stomaches! And 6 other fun facts about cockroaches

Ever wonder why cockroaches are so shiny? Well, let’s put our fears aside and learn a little more about one of the urban human’s greatest foes.

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BBQ bug-free and in style with cute new bug-repellent coil stands, just in time for summer

An online retailer offers stylish new coil stands to keep insects out of your barbecue and impress friends at the same time.

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Gigantic Asian hornet is your worst nightmare…or a ticket to Twitter fame 【Photos】

For the entomologist, it makes a great broach, unless it’s alive…in which case, run!

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Upcoming exhibition of creepy-crawlies in Nagoya promises to give its audience the heebie-jeebies

Unless they’re dedicated entomologists, this could be the perfect place to freak out your unsuspecting friends.

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Better than mosquito repellent – The most eco-friendly (and spiritual) way to repel pests in Japan

There’s no need to use toxic substances to kill off unwanted insects in Japan, because there’s a much more eco-friendly method they’ve been using for hundreds of years. Although it may not be scientifically proven, many people feel this is still the best way to get rid of everything from garden aphids to mosquitoes. And if the method has endured for centuries, it must be at least somewhat effective right?

This uniquely Japanese insect repellent is far cheaper than commercial insecticides, easier to implement, and you only have to use it once a year in spring or early summer. And the best part? It involves Japanese sake!

What’s the secret? We’ll let you know after the jump.

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Panda-cosplaying beetle is possibly the cutest bug we’ve ever seen

Late last month, Hiroshima City’s Asa Zoological Park shared a tweet displaying a picture of a beetle that has a unique black-and-white design on its back. Japanese net users have been getting a kick out of the little guy, who, according to some of them, has been described as being decorated like a panda!

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Island off Hiroshima coast slowly being eaten away by millions of insects

You’ve probably heard of Battleship Island before, the small abandoned island off of Nagasaki that looks like a battleship from afar and a zombie wasteland up close. It’s on its way to becoming a UNESCO world heritage site, which will bring in more tourists and help with its preservation.

But while Battleship Island gets its moment in the limelight, other abandoned islands around Japan are having a pretty tough time. Take Hoboro Island off the coast of Hiroshima for instance. It was once a decent-sized island known for pearls and oysters, but now it spends its days mainly being eaten away by millions of bugs and slowly sinking into the sea.

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Gross-out chocolates make Valentine’s Day extra sweet for bitter singles

Valentine’s Day is approaching with the speed of a runaway freight train, which for all those out there who are currently unattached can be a cause of sweaty palms and lips curled up in sneers of derision. In the west, Valentine’s Day is a totally commercialised flurry of unoriginal gifts and saccharine sappiness, but in Japan it’s kinda different. The chocolate companies have managed to turn it into a sort of one-day nation-wide chocolate-making fest, wherein lovestruck women take up their wooden spoons and mixing bowls in hopes of creating sweet treats to win the hearts of their beloved (or, alternatively, earn points with male colleagues).

But for those who are sick of Valentine’s Day and its traditional hearts and flowers, this collection of disgusting chocs is sure to raise a few evil chuckles.

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Japan is home to the cutest bug in the world, but they’re on the verge of extinction

Yes, you read that right: A cute bug! Well, that is up to debate, but it is definitely not as a gross as other bugs, like that hand-sized spider I had in my house that one time…

Because of the way they hover and their fuzzy bodies, these cute little fellas kind of look like a cross between a hummingbird and a bee. Their long mouth/noses resemble those of a nasty mosquito, but the fact that they are barely 10mm long (approximately the length of the first part of your pinkie finger) and harmless pollinators make them really people-friendly. Join us after the jump as we meet arguably the world’s most affable insect: the Tiger Bee Fly.

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Tohoku University team discovers blue light is effective at killing insects

Earlier this year Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their development of an efficient blue light-emitting diode (blue LED).

It was a well-deserved victory for the Japanese scientists whose invention continues to impact our lives in ways we often don’t even notice. It could be in the display you’re looking at right now or it could be helping some of the millions of people in parts of the world without electrical infrastructure get affordable lights for their homes.

And now in a report published in Scientific Reports, a team of researchers from Tohoku University have found a new use for blue LED. When used in the right frequency it can be an effective, safe, clean, and cheap way to kill insects. For the first time, they showed that visible light around the blue part of the spectrum is lethal to insects such as mosquitoes and fruit flies.

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Thai schoolgirl invents eco-friendly method of roach disposal using 3 simple ingredients

One thing we can probably all agree on is that cockroaches are gross and disgusting. They stink, they fly at your face and they can make you sick. They must be exterminated, but not everybody enjoys breathing in the noxious fumes from aggressive sprays, nor do they enjoy handling toxic poisons. So what’s left? Drown the suckers? They can survive in water for around 30 minutes. Suffocate them? They can live without air for 45 minutes. Chops their heads off? They’ll just keep on scurrying. Luckily, a high school girl in Thailand has come up with an all-natural non-violent method of disposing of the icky invaders. All you’ll need is flour, cement powder, and… malted milk powder?

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Singing, ticking timebombs – 5 facts about the special significance of cicadas in Japan

Coming from the UK where the largest insect you’re likely to encounter is a slightly overweight bumblebee, I was quite taken aback the first time I saw a semi, or cicada in English, in Japan. Having arrived in the middle of summer, at first the ear-piercing racket coming from the tree outside my window drove me to distraction, but over the years I came to enjoy the sound these little bugs made, even if their appearance still gives me the creeps.

As it happens, I’m not the only one who appreciates these little bugs’ songs. Cicadas hold special significance here in Japan, and are considered to be almost synonymous with summer, so join us after the jump for five quick-fire facts about Japan’s summer bug.

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Seven unbelievable jobs that actually exist in Japan

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you achieve your dream? If that’s got you thinking about a career change, you may want to look to the Land of the Rising Sun because in Japan there are some unusual employment opportunities available. From human dog food testers to bad smell specialists, we’ve found seven surprising jobs for you to consider. And they’re all ready and waiting for you in Japan.

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Fighter discovers Japanese giant hornet in his apartment, hilarity ensues 【Video】

When people talk about Japan, they usually talk about its beautiful landscapes, rich culture, and delicious food. They talk about the cherry blossom in spring, the soft, powder snow in winter, the deep red autumn leaves, and the summers that, while swelteringly hot, go perfectly with a big glass of cold Japanese beer.

What they don’t talk about are the bugs.

Although Japan has nothing on “Don’t Touch That, It’ll Probably Kill You” Australia, it nevertheless has its fair share of creepy-crawlies, and the oosuzumebachi, or Japanese Giant Hornet is perhaps the worst of the bunch. It’s still only April, but it would seem that the Japanese branch of Satan’s striped servants are already out and about, and getting into people’s apartments, no less…

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New species of mayfly discovered in Fukushima that can never get their prescription glasses

On 2 March this year, a research group from Fukushima University will present the results of their study in which they believe to have found a new species of mayfly. This particular insect was found in a remote swamp near Lake Hibara. This new species is unique in that rather than living from a day to a week like related mayflies, this particular one has a life span of only an hour.

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