Maine is not known for scary-looking insects and pests other than spiders, which some people cannot handle in any form. However, Maine does have an insect that is far more scarier than any spider you'll encounter here.

The Giant Water Bug, officially called Belostomatidae, is one of the largest flying insects in the world, and they're here in Maine. According to Wikipedia, you'll find them in freshwater all over the world, mostly in ponds, marshes, and slow-flowing streams.

Just how big are they? Most are about an inch long, and the largest can grow to a size of four-and-a-half inches long. And yes, they will bite. They use their front legs like pincers to grab their prey (typically fish, snails, and crustaceans), and the big ones will go after baby turtles and water snakes.

Brave Wilderness via YouTube
Brave Wilderness via YouTube

Giant water bugs will bite your toes if you're in the water, which is painful but is not toxic, according to the National Park Service. This is where they get the nickname "toe-biter". How painful is a bite from a giant water bug? Just ask the people on the YouTube channel Brave Wilderness, who allowed themselves to get bitten by a giant water bug, one that is probably larger than you would encounter in Maine. Probably.

I can say that in all my years living in Maine (which is all my life), I have never seen nor been bitten by a giant water bug, so odds are, you may never encounter them either. But they are out there. Beware.

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