What a sight that would be! Pests working out in your local gym? Well, it would certainly get my attention, and make a welcome change to only having the television to stare at! But which pest would you see on which machine? I hate the cycling machine, partly because I find it really hard work, but also uncomfortable, preferring instead to go on the treadmill. But which pest would most likely join me in this exercise?
Let’s imagine the scene:
Treadmill: requires fast legs – Australian tiger beetle. Apparently some species can run as fast as 5.6mph! Well, that should make this exercise very easy for them. The fastest of these beetles can travel about 170 times their body length per second. Now, if the average human could travel 170 times their own body length per second, they would be running about 340mph – Usain Bolt has nothing on this beetle!
Cycling machine: requires strong legs – Robber flies. These flies use their strong legs to grab their prey, which may even be bigger then they are, in mid-flight (a rare method amongst flies apparently). So, they will need to work on the strength in their legs if they are to catch their daily feed easily.
Step machine: requires stamina & climbing – Bed bugs. Bed bugs are wingless insects and so in order for them to be able to reach you to get at your blood (yuck!), they need to be able to crawl up your bed post, up your mattress and then on to you. So, they will need to have stamina & strength to get their feed….especially if you sleep in a bunk bed!
Rowing machine: requires strong arms / upper body – Pigeons. Pigeons have strong wing muscles – apparently wing muscles comprise 31–44% of their body weight – and they are amongst the strongest fliers of all birds. So a good workout on the rowing machine with those wings would ensure they are kept in perfect working condition! I wonder, are Racing Pigeons even stronger?
Exercise mats: requires flexibility – Mice. It seems mice are rather flexible creatures, which is how they are able to get inside our homes, by squeezing through the tiniest of holes to enjoy the warmth of our houses. So, perhaps mice would enjoy the opportunity to practice their contortion antics on these mats!
Weight lifting: requires brute strength – Ants. They can lift 20 times their own body weight. Most humans struggle to lift their own body weight…or is that just me? Not bad going then for such a tiny bug, especially as they have to build all their nests and defend it! Still the more you exercise, the stronger you’ll become, so this is perfect.
Swimming pool: requires good swimmers – Black Rats. They are perhaps surprisingly very good swimmers, and they may well need to be to get about easily in the sewers, where some of them live. Did you know a rat can survive being flushed down the toilet!? (Ok, so a pool is not usually in the gym, but it is usually just next door!!) Squirrels, on the other hand, would not make good swimmers at all – Phelps, you have nothing to worry about!
What about the cross trainer? Which pest would be best on this machine?