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What Is An Insect?


Many of us learned the characteristics of insects in elementary school, but in case you've forgotten since your tenure in 4th grade science class, allow us to teach you how to identify whether that pest in your house or yard is an insect or whether it is another creepy crawly.

Insect Characteristics

The head of an insect is much like the head of a human. Antennae act as ears and the insect hears through vibrations. They have eyes, either compound or simple, and mouths, which are usually external. An insect's middle section, the thorax, is where its wings are located, if it has wings. All six of the insect's legs are located here as well. The insect's final segment is the abdomen. This is where the insect's vital and digestive organs are housed.

Insects are also the largest animal group in the whole world with over a million different species. Some scientists estimate that there could be as many as five to ten million. Every species of insect hatches from eggs. Once hatched, insects will go through multiple life stages and maturation before becoming an adult. This change is referred to as metamorphosis. Insects such as the dragonfly and termite undergo incomplete metamorphosis and experience three life phase changes while insects like butterflies and ants undergo complete metamorphosis which includes four different life stages. Insects vary in size but most are fairly small. Most insects are under 0.2 inches in length. Some species can be almost microscopic while other insects can be several inches long. In fact, the wingspan of the hercules moth can reach up to 10.6 inches.

Insects are considered arthropods. The name arthropod literally means "jointed limbs". Arthropods were the first animal group to evolve to have jointed legs. Every arthropod has a segmented body, an exoskeleton, and at least three sets of jointed legs. Arachnids, aka spiders, are also arthropods. So what's the difference?

Difference Between Spiders and Insects

Spiders have two body segments where insects have three: the head, thorax, and abdomen. The number of body segments and legs are the key differences between spiders and insects. Most people know that spiders have eight legs and insects have six, but do you know what the various parts of an insect's body do? An estimated 1 million+ different species of insects inhabit the planet. They do everything from pollinate crops to help solve crimes. But when they're allowed to go unchecked they can also wreak havoc on our homes, yards, and gardens. They destroy plants and carry diseases. They nest inside our walls and damage our houses. Some insect species such as wasps and bees can leave painful stings.

Breda Pest Management is committed to ridding your business, home, and outdoor living spaces of any unwanted insects. Unlike some other pest control companies which rely on harsh chemicals to do their heavy lifting, Breda Pest Management uses all-natural products made from Diatomaceous Earth which is completely harmless to humans and pets. Their Pest Control programs are quarterly services backed by their satisfaction guarantee. Rid yourself of the creatures you don't love while protecting the ones you do.