Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them (Hardcover)
"Creepy, beautiful, icky and amazing." —Penny Le Couteur, author of Napoleon's Button
Insects have been shaping our ecological world and plant life for over 400 million years. In fact, our world is essentially run by bugs—there are 1.4 billion for every human on the planet. In Bugged, journalist David MacNeal takes us on an off-beat scientific journey that weaves together history, travel, and culture in order to define our relationship with these mini-monsters.
MacNeal introduces a cast of bug-lovers—from a woman facilitating tarantula sex and an exterminator nursing bedbugs (on his own blood), to a kingpin of the black market insect trade and a “maggotologist”—who obsess over the crucial role insects play in our everyday lives.
Just like bugs, this book is global in its scope, diversity, and intrigue. Hands-on with pet beetles in Japan, releasing lab-raised mosquitoes in Brazil, beekeeping on a Greek island, or using urine and antlers as means of ancient pest control, MacNeal’s quest appeals to the squeamish and brave alike. Demonstrating insects’ amazingly complex mechanics, he strings together varied interactions we humans have with them, like extermination, epidemics, and biomimicry. And, when the journey comes to an end, MacNeal examines their commercial role in our world in an effort to help us ultimately cherish (and maybe even eat) bugs.
About the Author
David MacNeal is a Los Angeles-born journalist orbiting the fringes of science, technology and culture. As the black sheep in a family tree of engineers, the gravitation towards geekery came naturally. This has led him to shatter a tooth on a makeshift motorized bicycle, race down the Santa Monica Mountains in illegal soapbox derbies, and twerk in the streets with banana-clad ravers of the Decentralized Dance Party movement. His articles have since appeared in WIRED, Outside, ArsTechnica, 5280, Medium, and other publications. Aside from obsessing over comic books, he bakes exquisite pies (especially blueberry) and drinks an array of whiskey. Sometimes the glass contains bugs. He currently lives in Denver. Bugged: The Insects Who Rule the World and the People Obsessed with Them is his first book.
"Worth reading and contemplating. Mr. MacNeal has an admirable talent for explaining science and nature in comprehensible language." —The Wall Street Journal
"While working with bugs requires a strong tolerance for what others might consider creepy or gross, Bugged shows that fascinating careers await those brave enough to take the plunge." —The New York Post
"Entomology at its most enchanting...MacNeal is a witty, informed guide to a world of winged and scuttling wonders." —Nature
"Entertaining...[MacNeal's] enthusiasm for insects is contagious." —Science Magazine
"Readers willing to consider creepy crawlies in a different light will glean much from this thoroughly enjoyable text." —Library Journal
"An enjoyable and important immersion...MacNeal brings boundless enthusiasm to this survey of the insect world." —Booklist
"MacNeal delivers a joy-filled dose of science, reminding readers that the strange and alien creatures in our midst are not to be feared, but celebrated." —Publishers Weekly
"The world of insects as described in magnificent detail in Bugged is creepy, beautiful, icky and amazing." —Penny Le Couteur, author of Napoleon's Button