In this cryptically titled book, earth is the little-known planet, for we know so very little of the insect creatures which dominate it in sheer number and variety. At any given moment they are estimated to be a billion billion . Starting with such scary statistics, the author, a museum curator and research entomologist who specializes in wasps, has written a very scholarly but readable book about cockroaches, bedbugs, flies, locusts, and others, both ornery or persistent. What is impressive about this book is the author's analysis of the importance of current research on insect life as models for studies of human chemistry. He cites recent discoveries of juvenile and molting hormones, the effects of radiation in insects, the research on pheromones (sex attractants)--all of which may turn out to be vital to human survival. The book itself gives an excellent view of the dynamics of insect behavior.