Why I Don’t Kill Insects

Bug Lives Matter

SG Buckley
4 min readMay 9, 2022


Photo by Utsav Srestha on Unsplash

My daughter has begged me not to write this story. She says I’ll embarrass myself and readers will think I’m nuts.

But I must do this — if only for the bugs.

If a big fat fly is buzzing around my home, I don’t grab my tennis racket, whack it and sweep up the remains. I wait until the insect lands, kneel beside it and stick out my finger.

This part will surprise most people. The fly will not fly away. Most times, the bug will crawl onto my finger and sit there as I walk it outside. Only then will it fly away.

Likewise, if I find a spider in my house — even big scary hairy ones — I grab a glass. If you attempt to cover a spider with a glass, it won’t scurry off. It will freeze. You can then slip paper between the glass and surface and deposit the spider outside.

Just this morning, I found a tiny spider, no bigger than a pepper flake, in my sink. I put out my finger and it climbed aboard. I walked outside and let it crawl onto a leaf.

My family calls me the Insect Whisperer. They say it like a joke but I think it’s real.

It’s not unusual for ladybugs to land on me, or butterflies or moths.

The first time I got up on a single slalom waterski, a dragonfly was perched on my shoulder. I swear it’s true.

Afterwards, I told my Uncle Gary, who was driving the boat, and he replied: “He must have been flapping his wings awfully hard.”

If people have a spirit animal, mine is a dragonfly. I love their bold electric colors and the way they flit from place to place, higgledy-piggledy, much like I do.

But it turns out, dragonflies aren’t erratic at all. They are incredibly agile. With four separate wings, each attached to separate muscles, they can hover, fly backwards, and turn suddenly in mid-air, making them efficient hunters.

Dragonflies are highly evolved and talented, like so many other insects. Think about the engineering skills involved in making a beehive or in spinning a web.

Did you know that the strength of a spider web, relative to weight, rivals Kevlar, the material used for bullet-proof vests? How cool is that?



SG Buckley

Writer, editor, parent. Former staffer at Quartz, WSJ and Inc. magazine.