The Quote Garden ™
“I dig old books.” ™
Quotations about Insects
Welcome to my page of quotations about bugs and insects, worms, snails, and other beneficial (or pesky) little beings with whom we share the world. See also my pages on: Bees, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Fireflies, Flies, Ladybugs, Scorpions, Spiders. And there are some more worm quotes on the Gardens page. Enjoy! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g
We hope that, when the insects take over the world, they will remember with gratitude how we took them along on all our picnics. ~Bill Vaughan
Jewel-bright grasshoppers buzzed around me, their wings aglitter. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018
I am regretful that in my growing up years bugs were not regarded seriously as now. I have to get my mind adjusted to the notion of taking them as important members of society, since in my green days they were brushed aside or stepped on without qualm. I didn't know that scholars gave their whole lives to studying worms, or work up a passionate fervor over spiders, or rhapsodize over bees. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919
The chirping cricket has ceased its noise, and is asleep in its hiding-place. A little white miller is flying about the light as though he thought it the most wonderful thing in the whole world.... That's right, sweet creature, rest yourself and slumber, if you please, on the corner of that Holy Bible. He who wrote that book is as much your Father, as He is mine. At this silent hour and in this solitary place, you have come to minister to my delight. The thoughts which you have caused will make my rest this night more peaceful than it would have been but for you. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840
Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes? ~Author Unknown
It's a children's book... It's mostly about very small animals; the hero is a moss beetle. ~Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit: An Improbable Farce in Three Acts, 1941
The ideal home is one in which the human inhabitants multiplied by 50 outnumber the cockroaches divided by 100. ~H. L. Mencken, A Little Book in C Major, 1916
Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good,
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "The Termite"
The mosquito is the state bird of New Jersey. ~Andy Warhol
Murder hornets: because 2020 wasn't bad enough. ~Internet meme
Into each life some ants must crawl. ~Terri Guillemets [Apologies, Mr Roberts. —tg]
Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing.
~Christina Georgina Rossetti
Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. ~Bradley Millar
The cricket is a small, black, ambulatory noise surrounded by a sentimental aura. On occasion it lives in the open fields, but its favorite habitat is behind a couch or under a bookcase in a room where somebody is trying to read. ~Hal Borland
Though snails are exceedingly slow,
There is one thing I'd like to know.
If I out run 'em round the yard,
How come they beat me to the chard?
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. ~Betty Reese
Insects are attractive things and very human, or perhaps we men and women are like bugs. I have known dragon flies, swift-motioned, gleaming; and hornets, unbeautiful but effective; some people are like honeybees, engaged in sweet unselfish labors, while others are crickets that only chirp; some are butterflies, flashing in the pure light, while others are noisome, creeping things that lurk in dank shadows. Some persons are fireflies, lighting up dark places for others, while there are those who are house flies, inquisitive, annoying, noxious... Yet there isn't anybody who isn't interesting, and so there is no bug that doesn't repay you for studying it. I wonder what insect I am like?— my family would doubtless say a mosquito. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919
Unfortunately, it was in the musty thickness where mosquitoes thrive like backstreet thugs. ~Craig Childs, Crossing Paths: Uncommon Encounters with Animals in the Wild, 1997
MOSQUITO A small insect designed by God to make us think better of flies. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904
Large flocks of butterflies, all kinds of happy insects, seem to be in a perfect fever of joy and sportive gladness. ~John Muir, 1867 October 9th, A Thousand-Mile Walk To the Gulf
Among the diseases caused by the mosquito, insomnia... should not be omitted. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor
And a cloud of enraptured, sporting, buzzing little creatures of silk-dust swept or hovered over the undulating picture. ~Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days: A Biography, translated from German by Charles T. Brooks, 1865
We are closer to the ants than to butterflies. Very few people can endure much leisure. ~Gerald Brenan
And what's a buterfly? At best,
He's but a ceterpillar, drest.
THE ANT is a many footed insect that lives in large families... They have no legal holidays or 8-hour systems... nor sedentary loafers among them, and you never see one out of a job. They rise early, work hard all day, go to bed late and even take their meals on the run. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague
While it is difficult to determine an excuse for existence on the part of some insects, there are others that are obviously pleasure bugs — June-bugs, for instance, honeybees and big black beetles with iridescent green that occasionally walk across the porch with attitudinizing mien; dragon flies with wings flashing in the sun, the evening ghost-like moths. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919 [a little altered –tg]
Francesca waved and threw kisses, for she was, after all, a roach beyond reproach. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), The Blessing of the Beasts, 2007
Bugs have as much right to a place in the shade as we do. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919 [a little altered –tg]
KATYDID A gossiping grasshopper who is always meddling in Katy's affairs. ~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904
The night was awash with the screech of cicadas. These insects had reached the molting stage of their annual transformation. They first emerged in May as sluggish, flightless, dun-colored beetles, but after enough exposure to heat and sunlight, they would undergo an unpleasant metamorphosis. First they would find a tree or a house or a telephone pole and start to climb — slowly, clumsily, driven by mindless instinct — until they reached a particular height known only to themselves. They would cling tight, hold still, and gradually become translucent. Their outer skin would slough away. They would burst out through the napes of their former shells and rise into the sky as steel-spun creatures with wings as loud as joy buzzers. They left their spent husks everywhere. ~Abby Geni, The Wildlands, 2018
House, n. A hollow edifice erected for the habitation of man, rat, mouse, beetle, cockroach, fly, mosquito, flea, bacillus, and microbe. ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
The MOSQUITO... bites the 1st time as sharp and natural as red pepper does. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague & T. Guillemets
We are taught that nothing in this world was made in vain, that all God's handiwork was intended for a good and great purpose, but scientific men have failed to this date to calculate what a mosquito was made for, unless it was to keep folks awake at night and give their miserable old threadbare consciences time and opportunity to get in its dreadful work. The mosquito has been an inhabitant of this old world since the dawn of creation. I'm reliably informed that they gave the old man Adam the old lady Eve and the entire family a pretty lively time and I guess they will hang around till business closes down on the last day. I have figured it out they must constitute one of the luxuries of life, for they certainly don't come under the head of necessities. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague
When darkness descends on summer nights, the air around campfires, lanterns and cottage windows becomes filled with swirling moths seemingly intent on self destruction. The suicide fliers are drawn to the flames and light because they normally navigate a straight course by keeping constant the angle of moonlight or sunbeams falling on their eyes. Night lights created by humans disorient moths, causing them to flutter round and round the source without being able to get their bearings. ~Doug Bennet and Tim Tiner, Up North
I saw a snail out of his shell to‑day... His house was much smaller than he was, which fact impressed me by its contrast to our modern scheme of tenantry. We who own houses have them disproportionately large in comparison with ourselves, so that we are tied down to them and unable to go about to view the world as this carefree snail may do at will. Think how simple is his arrangement for furnishing, — he is his own furniture! He has no need for interior decorators, and no thought of moving-day can enslave his soul. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919
Oh, if you're a bird, be an early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.
If you're a bird, be an early early bird—
But if you're a worm, sleep late.
~Shel Silverstein, "Early Bird," Where the Sidewalk Ends, 1974
Three young uptown roaches arrived in a crate of discarded supermarket vegetables, hidden within the leaves of wilted lettuce. They fell over themselves gibbering and giggling and interrupting each other to answer Erasmus, the roach elder of the community. ~Ethel Pochocki (1925–2010), The Blessing of the Beasts, 2007 [a little altered —tg]
To get rid of COCKROACHES, sell your house and lot, for anything you can get for it, flee to the mountains, and be at rest. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague
I have yet to see the first man who would acknowledge that he was the friend of a BED BUG. A chinch is the most low down, meanest, sneakenest, crawling, creeping, hopping, biting thing that infests this old earth. They don't dare tackle a man in broad daylight but sneak in after dark, and chaw him up while he's fast asleep. Now, a mosquito will fight you to a finish in broad daylight, at short range and give you a chance to knock back — allow you a kind of a free ballot and a fair count... but a bed bug... waits till the dead hour of night... If I were in the habit of indulging in Sunday School expressions, I wouldn't hesitate to cuss a bed bug to a standstill right to his face... ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague & T. Guillemets
The hornet washed his peevish little face with his front legs and reminded me of a queer little old woman in antique garb, — bent over almost double, and with a sharp line of demarcation at his tight-corseted waist, and with his black and yellow petticoat drawn tight about his ankles. ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919 [a little altered –tg]
HORN A sharp point.
HORNET Still sharper.
~Charles Wayland Towne, The Foolish Dictionary, Executed by Gideon Wurdz, Master of Pholly, Doctor of Loquacious Lunacy, etc., 1904
I like a HORNET for one thing. He will always attend to his own business and insist emphatically that you do likewise. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague
THE YELLOW JACKET is 1st cousin to the wasp and a close relation to the black hornet... They are as yellow as gold; and when they get good and mad they blaze like forked lightning in a thunder storm. Don't go near a yellow jacket's nest, especially in August, unless your life is heavily insured. ~Josh Billings, revised by H. Montague
Hasn't modern civilized life come to be little else than a fight for life against bugs? ~Dorothy Scarborough, "Entomology on a Country Porch," From a Southern Porch, 1919
I hate mosquitoes. I mean, I know I'm delicious but dang! ~Author unknown
I feel you upon me,
You're biting me everywhere;
Each time that you sting me
Sensations you bring me,
You bite, but you don't seem to care;
My carcass I'm scratching
While eggs you are hatching
To bring new disturbers to town.
You don't hurt, Mosquito,
When you light upon me,
But, oh baby, when you sit down!
~"Marcheta: A Parody," in The "Wrecks" (An Anthology of Ribald Verse Collected at Reno), c.1933
The Amazon rainforest has 2.5 million species of insects. That's more bugs than iOS 7. ~Internet meme, c.2013 [Windows Vista, Windows Me, Adobe Reader, IE6, or fill in the blank with your own most annoying software/upgrade. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]
If we were but conscious of our own utter littleness, we would not dare look with contempt on the smallest atom in the world. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840
Original post date 2003 Sept 28
Last saved 2021 Jan 15 Fri 21:04 PST