In a follow-up to her wildly successful New York Times bestseller Wicked Plants, Amy Stewart tackles the insects, worms, and spiders that have tormented humankind for centuries.
In this darkly comical look at the sinister side of our relationship with the natural world, Stewart has tracked down over one hundred of our worst entomological foes—creatures that infest, infect, and generally wreak havoc on human affairs. From the world’s most painful hornet, to the flies that transmit deadly diseases, to millipedes that stop traffic, to the “bookworms” that devour libraries, to the Japanese beetles munching on your roses, Wicked Bugs delves into the extraordinary powers of six- and eight-legged creatures.
With wit, style, and exacting research, Stewart has uncovered the most terrifying and titillating stories of bugs gone wild. It’s an A to Z of insect enemies, interspersed with sections that explore bugs with kinky sex lives (“She’s Just Not That Into You”), creatures lurking in the cupboard (“Fear No Weevil”), insects eating your tomatoes (“Gardener’s Dirty Dozen”), and phobias that feed our (sometimes) irrational responses to bugs (“Have No Fear”).
Intricate and strangely beautiful etchings and drawings by Briony Morrow-Cribbs capture diabolical bugs of all shapes and sizes in this mixture of history, science, murder, and intrigue that begins—but doesn’t end—in your own backyard.
Amy Stewart is the bestselling author of five books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world. Her essays and commentaries have appeared on NPR, in the New York Times, and in Fine Gardening, where she is a contributing editor. Stewart is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship and the American Horticultural Society’s 2010 Book Award. She lives in Eureka, California, where she and her husband own an antiquarian bookstore. Find her online at www.amystewart.com and at www.gardenrant.com.
Illustrated by Briony Morrow-Cribbs
272 pages, 5 5/8 x 7 1/4