Get to Know These 5 Prehistoric Insects

When you see pests such as termites in your house, the first thing you probably think about is pest or termite control. Of course your first instinct is to drive them all out lest they end up eating your whole house! Termites have been around for such a long time – even longer than dinosaurs. Since they have been around for more than 250 million years, they are officially 20 million years older than the dinosaurs. That’s right, these eusocial insects have been crawling the earth long before mankind even learned to build a house. However, they are not alone. Here are some prehistoric insects that you might not what to mess around with because they’re actually giant versions of the insects that you see now. 

Giant Dragonflies

Today’s dragonflies are some of the cutest insects ever, but do you know that they weren’t that cute back then? Dragonflies from millions of years ago, called griffinflies, used to have a wingspan of two feet long. Its body could grow up to 17 inches and, because of its size, it would have preyed on animals as big as frogs and squirrels. They probably went extinct when the high oxygen levels in the earth’s atmosphere started to decrease. 

meganeura fossil

Giant Land Scorpion

Around 400 million years ago, there were giant scorpions that roamed the earth. They can grow to over two feet long – which is about the size of a dog – and ate other small animals. Also, their sting were just as dangerous as today’s scorpions.

Giant Centipedes

If a regular, modern centipede could freak out a regular person, what about the humongous ones that existed about 300 million years ago? The monstrosities were about 8, eight, feet long and would eat lizards, frogs, and bats. Granted, some of them were vegetarians, they’re still scary even if they weren’t known to eat people. 


Giant Fleas

Any responsible and sane pet owner would probably rush their pet to the veterinarian if they found out that their furry family member had fleas. If that’s enough to send a person into a panic, what about the giant fleas that stuck themselves onto dinosaurs? Imagine their proboscis, their needle mouths, would probably have been as big as the syringes your nurse uses to draw your blood or administer some nasty medicine. 


Giant Cockroach

No home is safe from cockroaches and no one is probably brave enough to face a flying cockroach. If they are horrific now, can you imagine how much terror they will inflict if they are bigger? It’s a good thing that cockroaches from the past – which used to be as big as 18 inches long – don’t exist now.

These insects thrived when the earth still had high levels of oxygen in the atmosphere. Aside from them, there are possibly more insects and creepy crawlies that ruled the earth millions of years ago. Even though the oxygen levels were still rising, their reign ended, or more like, they started to shrink during the evolution of the birds. Because of the evolution of predatory birds, though at first they weren’t adept at flying, insects had to give up their size and become smaller to be able to move faster. Thankfully now, insects that can get in suburban homes are much smaller, and pest control can deal with them just fine.