Bug Biology: Some Helpful Insect Basics

insect basics

Because we’re a termite and pest control company, we talk a lot about bugs, pests, insects, and all the creepy crawlies. While it’s great to learn about bugs, how to prevent them, and how to rid them from your home, it’s time that we go back to the basics and go over some interesting—and basic—information about these pesky pests. 

Regardless of whether you love bugs or not, insects are everywhere! They’re in the ground, gardens, trees, grass, and even in your home. Of course, there are many bugs that are extremely valuable and beneficial to bettering the environment, like bees and other pollinators; however there are also bugs that are incessant and even downright annoying. 

Here are five basic (and maybe even fun) facts about insects! 

#1. All Insects Are Related

Yep. You heard that right! Insects all fall from the same family tree—that’s why the anatomy of insects are all (relatively) the same. A brief overview of an insect’s body includes the head, the thorax region (with the prothorax, mesothorax, and metathorax), and the abdomen. Oh, and we can’t forget about all the commonly seen wings! 

#2. Most Mouths Are the Same

It’s common for insects to share a similar head and mouth structure. The top of the head is called the vertex, the cheeks are gena, the frontal face is the frons and the “neck” area is the clypeus. We know those are some interesting words to pronounce, but isn’t it cool that they share features that are similar even to you?

#3. Three Pairs of Legs

Insects have three pairs of legs, which means they crawl with six legs in total. They have the fore-, mid-, and hind legs; yet depending on the prey size, mating scale, and other various factors, the size of legs may differ. Some are big and some are small. 

For example, some insects may only walk and run—while others also jump and grasp; for this reason, their legs serve different purposes and functions, hence the different sizes of legs. 

#4. Digestion and Absorption

Have you ever heard your stomach rumble or growl after a big meal? That’s called digestion. That means the food you just ate is moving through your body while it absorbs the nutrients it needs so you can get big and strong! 

Did you know that, like you, insects have a complete digestive system? With tubes going from the mouth to the anus, their bodies also absorb nutrients through the digestion process. 

Their organs, however, are a little bit different than ours. Here is one prime example: Insects don’t have kidneys. Instead, insects have tubes that remove waste for them—probably without them even noticing. For reference, kidneys remove waste and extra water from your body, which is why you urinate frequently throughout the day. 

#5. Short Life Cycle

Have you ever heard of an 87-year-old insect? No, definitely not! The life cycle of insects is extremely short unlike the lifespan of a human. Each insect has a different life cycle length depending on its species, but the average lifespan for an insect is as little as 90 days—that’s only three months. Heck, that’s just one summer!

Insect Basics Don’t Stop Here

We know that basics can get repetitive over time, but it’s valuable to us that people learn something new about insects each and every time you interact with our content or contact us. There is always something intriguing to learn about insects and pests—and that’s part of what we hope to provide you!