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Rebecca Besser | Winter of Zombie 2016

Bugs by Rebecca Besser #WinterZombie

by Rebecca Besser

Do you ever notice in zombie movies and on zombie shows that bugs aren’t swarming around the undead? But, in actuality, in real life, they would be.


Have you ever seen the rotting carcass of an animal that was hit by a car and left along the side of the road? Bugs everywhere, right? Yup. They love rotting, disgusting, smelly carnage.

Most of the insects that are active in decaying carcass are called Carrion Insects. And, apparently, if you get the right bugs involved (like flesh eating beetles, for instance) a human carcass can be consumed (except bone) in around a week.

That time frame tells us why we don’t see bugs being presented in zombie fiction. Because, with the insects doing their jobs, what they naturally do, there wouldn’t be too many zombies shambling around after a week or two. Granted there would be new ones all the time, but they’d again have a shelf life before rotting away. Eventually, the onslaught of the zombies would slow and then stop.


Now, while taking that into account, most of the insects that help with the decomposition of a carcass lay eggs in the rotting, dead flesh. So, if there were hundreds of thousands of undead corpses roaming about, can you imagine the swarming cloud of millions upon millions of insects (flies alone) left in their wake?

The undead wouldn’t be the only plague either. The insects would soon take over for at least a little while. I imagine it would be akin to biblical proportions if the world was consumed by a zombie apocalypse.

And…even if we look at just house flies, they CAN spread disease. That means, they could potential spread whatever virus is causing a zombie outbreak. This too explains why the bug element isn’t explored more in zombie fiction… The disease could spread another way and kill more of the survivors needed for a story.

All of this leads me to believe that if something like a zombie virus ever did break out, there would be less survivors than people now believe. With limited food sources, plus the risk of those food sources being contaminated by insects, and having to deal with other ways disease is spread so easily, it’s a good chance that if a zombie plague ever did attack the Earth…few if any humans would survive. Or other animals for that matter, depending on how badly they too were affected by the spread of disease through bugs.

Rebecca Besser’s latest release is Re-Civilize Book 1: Chad the first in the new Zpoc Exception series.


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Jay Wilburn
Jay Wilburn has a Masters Degree in Education that goes mostly unused since he quit teaching to write about zombies. Jay writes horror because he tends to find the light by facing down the darkness. He finds the journey through life easier by having you join him. Jay is the author of 2 series: The Dead Song Legend and The Great Interruption. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. You can also find Jay's work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5 and Dark Moon Digest. Each year Jay has the pleasure of featuring many great authors in the genre through the Summer and Winter of Zombie blog tours on his website.

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One comment

  1. Lucille Bransfield says:

    Wow..thanks Rebecca. Just when I thought there was a chance in hell of surviving you dash my hopes. Lol. Thanks for the reality check. Adding bug spray to my bug out bag. Pun intended.

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