Bringing The World Home To You

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In the earth beneath our neighborhoods, the woods surrounding our favorite hiking trails and the waters that line our coasts lurks a strange phenomenon: Creatures that have traveled great distances to call communities in the South home – and wreak havoc on the world around them.

As unwelcome as these new neighbors may be, they’re also giving scientists, farmers, fisherfolk, homeowner associations and more a chance to get creative finding ways to eliminate these species, mitigate their harm or work toward a more peaceful coexistence.

CREEP is a podcast that encourages us to lean in for a closer look at how insects and animals are changing the environment, economy and health of our region in ways we never expected. Listen, subscribe and get to know some of nature’s most fascinating, grotesque and mysterious members.

Presented in partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

CREEP trailer Captioned.mp4

Meet the Hosts

Laura Pellicer is a digital news reporter. She was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, a city she considers arrestingly beautiful, if not a little dysfunctional. Laura loves tracing innovations in science and technology and pursuing stories about the natural world. She is enamored with North Carolina — notably the lush forests, and the waves where she moonlights as a mediocre surfer. Follow Laura on Twitter @LauraPLive.

Elizabeth Friend grew up in North Carolina listening to public radio in the backseat of the family station wagon. She's been reporting and producing at WUNC since 2016, covering everything from Army history to armadillos. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the outside world, dabbling in esoteric crafts, and cheese.

Production Team

Amanda Magnus, managing editor, @amandamagnus
Sophia Friesen, AAAS fellow, @sophiafriesen2
Anisa Khalifa, producer, @anisakhalifa_
Charlie Shelton-Ormond, producer/sound designer, @chuck_so
Lindsay Foster Thomas, executive producer, @LFTeveryvoice
Eleanor Spicer Rice, science editor, @VerdantEleanor
Theme music by Quilla (Anna Luisa Daigneault), @quilla
Original illustration by Iris Gottlieb, @irisgottlieb
Original logo by Matthew Scott

  • What does it sound like to synthesize our relationship to the natural world into a song? In this special episode, electronic music producer and songwriter Quilla peels back the curtain on her creative process and talks about composing the theme song for CREEP.
  • Much of the conversation around invasive species frames our relationship with these plants and animals as an ongoing battle, a war to be won. But what can we learn when we move beyond the language of domination and explore the broader connections between ourselves, our planet, and the creatures we share this space with?
  • What do you do when you’re stuck at home during pandemic lockdown with thousands of mosquitoes to keep you company? You feed them. The hard way.
  • Backyard spraying is a common quick fix for dealing with pesky mosquitoes. But this short-term solution may come with some unintended consequences, including making some mosquitoes harder to kill.
  • Iguanas didn’t always fall out of trees during cold snaps in the Sunshine State, but chances are, future generations will regard them as just a natural part of the landscape. With the world changing around us at a rapidly increasing rate, how do we set conservation goals when we can't keep track of what we’ve lost?
  • The exotic pet industry is one of the main pathways for introducing invasive species into new environments. It can be hard for non-herpers to understand what’s so attractive about living with these creatures. In this first of a series of bite-sized episodes, reptile enthusiast Tim Jackowicz takes us into his world, where giant snakes and lizards offer an opportunity to rethink how we approach the world around us.
  • As if our native mosquitoes weren’t pesky enough, we humans have imported some of the most invasive mosquito species to the U.S., bringing with them painful and debilitating diseases. Is there a human solution to this human-caused problem? Or are we destined to see history repeat itself, as we try (again and again) to outwit the deadliest animal on the planet?
  • This voracious species feeds on the juveniles of commercially important fish like grouper and snapper.
  • Worst. Marine. Invasion. Ever. Prized as pets for their mesmerizing beauty, an aquarium keeper’s dream has become an environmental nightmare as legions of venomous, voracious lionfish are now guzzling up fish and further endangering coral reefs throughout the Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Researchers, inventors, divers and fishers are urgently trying to find new ways to stem the tide of these undersea marauders.
  • Beyond the hype about Pablo Escobar’s cocaine hippos, the real story of what’s happening in Colombia’s Rio Magdalena is surprising and complex. Some look on these hungry herbivores with affection and admiration, others fear their aggressive attitude and huge ecological footprint. Follow these unlikely invaders from Africa to Colombia with a possible layover in…Louisiana?