The List: The 10 most terrifying bugs

Joel Oliphint

The release of Earwig's excellent, long-in-the-works new album,Pause for the Jets (see page 16 for our feature), got us thinking about the band's namesake (which doesn't actually burrow into ear holes) and other insects and arachnids that make our skin crawl. Here are the scariest we found.

10. Cockroaches

They don't bite, but they make noise when they scurry and some of them hiss. They also multiply like crazy and they are hell-bent on taking over the world (that's the rumor, at least).

9. Jake Bugg

Listening to this British songwriter attempt to make an album without a big-name producer like Rick Rubin or Jacknife Lee behind him, as Bugg did for this year'sOn My One, is a scary experience, indeed. *shudder*

8. Cicada killers

True, these wasps are more focused on hurting cicadas than you, but what's to stop one from going rogue on your toe?

7. Muggsy Bogues

During his 10-year stint as a Charlotte Hornet, the 5-foot-3-inch Bogues struck fear in the hearts of any NBA player who underestimated him because of his size (like 7-footer Patrick Ewing, whom Bogues rejected in 1993).

6. Australian golden silk orb-weaver

This spider can catch and eat birds. BIRDS.

5. Indian red scorpion

Even though this nocturnal arachnid prefers smaller prey like roaches over humans, the Indian red scorpion's sting is considered the most lethal of the nearly 1,500 species of scorpion.

4. Gregor Samsa

The main character in Franz Kafka's "Metamorphosis" undergoes a horrifying transformation into a "monstrous verminous bug," but perhaps even more terrifying are the novella's soul-crushing undercurrents of Weltschmerz and ennui.

3. Brown recluse spider

The scariest thing about these spiders, whose venom can cause massive, nasty wounds (do not Google while eating) and even kidney failure or seizures, is that they are found in Ohio.

2. Fire ants

I have seen these vicious things bring my family to tears in a coordinated attack, but that was on land. Imagine encountering these vile creatures as a giant, floating fire ant raft, which they've been known to form in flooded areas of South Carolina.

1. Africanized bee

Your mother's "If you don't bother them, they won't bother you" philosophy usually works for regular honey bees, but Africanized bees are a different story. This aggressively defensive hybrid has been known to kill humans, horses and other large animals, and it will chase you down for a quarter of a mile.