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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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A Sign of Stupidity

Posted by Richard Conniff on June 21, 2012

I saw this billboard recently while driving in Northern Virginia.  You would think that someone in the extermination business would know that the animal in the middle (“…ugh!”) is not in fact a “bug” at all.

It’s a spider.  (“Lemme see, oh yeah, eight legs.”)

And spiders generally do a better job than exterminators at getting rid of insect  pests.

Maybe that’s why they want to kill them?

2 Responses to “A Sign of Stupidity”

  1. hanmeng said

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bug?show=1&t=1340319777
    Definition of BUG
    1a : an insect or other creeping or crawling invertebrate (as a spider or centipede)

    • An ignorant definition, especially from a business that claims to specialize in the topic. Here’s another readily available definition that gets much closer to the taxonomic point:
      bug
      [buhg]
        Example Sentences Origin
      bug
      1    [buhg] Show IPA noun, verb, bugged, bug·ging.
      noun
      1.
      Also called true bug, hemipteran, hemipteron. a hemipterous insect.
      2.
      (loosely) any insect or insectlike invertebrate.
      3.
      Informal . any microorganism, especially a virus: He was laid up for a week by an intestinal bug.
      4.
      Informal . a defect or imperfection, as in a mechanical device, computer program, or plan; glitch: The test flight discovered the bugs in the new plane.
      5.
      Informal .
      a.
      a person who has a great enthusiasm for something; fan or hobbyist: a hi-fi bug.
      b.
      a craze or obsession: He’s got the sports-car bug.

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