Insects: Most Popular Articles
Carpenter bees are beneficial insects, but they can sometimes be a nuisance to homeowners. These large bees excavate tunnels in lumber, making holes in decks, porches, and other wood structures. Learn when it's time to take action, and how to control carpenter bees effectively.
Ground bees may be a nuisance in the lawn or garden, but they're also an important beneficial insect. Learn to identify ground bees, and how to control ground bee nests.
I keep finding tiny black bugs crawling on my floors and walls. What are they, and what do I do to get rid of them?!
Help! I have hundreds of tiny red bugs on my windowsills and curtains. When I squash them, they leave nasty red stains on everything. What are they and how do I get rid of them?
Are you battling fruit flies in your kitchen? Once they get in, it's hard to get rid of fruit flies. This simple vinegar trap works wonders on a fruit fly infestation.
Is there a more adorable arthropod than the ladybug? From kindergartners to gardeners, everybody loves them. Here are 10 cool facts about ladybugs.
Are you waging a fruitless battle against fruit flies in your home (pun intended)? Try following these 10 tips for getting rid of fruit flies.
A few pest cockroaches have given these insects a bad reputation. Read these 10 facts about cockroaches, and I think you'll agree that they're actually amazing creatures.
Fleas live on cats, dogs, and other furry animals. But can fleas live on people?
Worried you might have a termite infestation in your home? This photo gallery will help you learn what termites look like, and how to recognize termite damage.
A pillbug goes by many names -– roly poly, wood louse, armadillo bug, potato bug – but whatever you call it, it's a fascinating creature.
True or false? The average person swallows 8 spiders per year while sleeping.
There's a lot of misinformation about bed bugs out there. Make sure you know the facts about these blood-sucking pests.
Are you battling ants in your kitchen? Learn how to make and use homemade ant baits that will get rid of those ants quickly.
As bed bugs make headlines around the country, people are wondering what causes bed bugs. Here's what causes bed bugs, and what doesn't.
Everyone is familiar with butterflies, but how much do you really know about these insects? Here are 10 cool facts about butterflies.
People once thought insects like fruit flies appeared by magic overnight, a theory called spontaneous generation. While it might seem like this is the case, fruit flies do come from somewhere. Learn what causes fruit flies.
The complex, cooperative societies of ants enable them to survive and thrive in conditions that would challenge the individual. Here are 10 fascinating facts about ants that just might convince you they're superior to us.
Has anyone ever told you there are bugs living in your eyebrows and eyelashes? Did you believe it? Here's the truth about face mites.
Nothing takes the fun out of an evening barbecue outdoors like a bunch of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. In addition to inflicting a painful bite, mosquitoes can transmit diseases. You can keep your local mosquito population under control by limiting their habitat on your property, and avoid their annoying bites by using the right barriers and repellants. This article also teaches you what oft-touted mosquito controls do NOT work.
Planting a butterfly garden? Don't plant butterfly bush! Learn why butterfly bush is bad, and what you can plant instead of butterfly bush.
Being stung by a bee or wasp is never fun, and for people with bee venom allergies, it can be life-threatening. In most cases, bee stings are entirely avoidable - just don't attract them or put the bees on the defensive. Here's 10 tips to help you avoid bee stings.
We all know a human mosquito magnet – the one person in the group who seems to get all the mosquito bites. Want to know how they do it? Here are 10 ways to guarantee you'll get the most mosquito bites at your next outdoor party.
Here are 10 things you didn't know about mosquitoes.
Want to bring butterflies to your backyard? Butterflies need good sources of nectar, and these twelve perennials are butterfly favorites. Choose a few of these easy-to-grow plants, and start a backyard butterfly garden this year.
Before you wage war against bed bugs, be sure you know which bed bug treatments work, and which don't. This article outlines the top 10 myths about treating bed bugs.
Got fleas? If you find a flea on your dog or cat, don't despair. Flea control isn't impossible, it just takes the right flea treatment product and some persistent and thorough housekeeping. Here are my tips for getting rid of fleas.
You've probably heard that bees die after they sting you, but that isn't always true. Learn which bees can only sting once, and why bees die after stinging.
The terms venomous and poisonous are often used interchangeably, but incorrectly. There is, in fact, a difference between a venomous insect and a poisonous insect.
The social wasps of the family Vespidae include paper wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets, all of which will defend their homes vigorously should you disturb them. Worse yet, they have a tendency to build their homes in the places we like to spend our time, so there's a good chance you'll encounter them.
Hollywood directors like to use tarantulas in horror flicks, because these huge, furry spiders look intimidating. But tarantulas have been given a bad rap. These 10 cool facts about tarantulas should make you think differently about these docile and fascinating spiders.
More lies are told about the brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, than any other arthropod in North America. Public hysteria about this shy spider has been fueled by media hype and medical misdiagnosis. It's time to set the record straight.
Paper wasps will defend their nest aggressively. When their nests are located in close proximity to people, some control measures may be required. Learn the safest time and method to remove problem paper wasp nests.
No other insect has served the needs of man like the honey bee. Here are 10 facts about honey bees you might not know.
How much do you really know about caterpillars? Here are 10 cool facts about caterpillars.
Learn 10 fascinating facts about centipedes.
Learn 10 fascinating facts about grasshoppers.
Myth or fact? A daddy longlegs has deadly venom, but cannot bite humans because its fangs are too short to penetrate the skin. Here's your answer.
You probably can't think of one good thing to say about mosquitoes. They're annoying, they bite, and they carry deadly diseases. But they must be good for something, right? What good are mosquitoes?
Are you sure a bug bomb is the best choice for your pest problem? Bug bombs don't work well on all insects. When used incorrectly, these home pesticide products can be hazardous, too. Learn how to weigh the risks and rewards of using a bug bomb, before you choose to use one.
Mosquitoes are nowhere to be found in winter, but reappear in force each spring as if by magic. Where do mosquitoes go in winter, and how do they reappear so quickly in spring?
Millipedes are ancient creatures. Learn fascinating facts about how millipede bodies, behaviors, and history.
They build nests in our lawns and on our houses, they sneak into our soda cans, and worst of all they sting! Exactly what good are wasps? Do we really need them?
People like praying mantids because they look a bit like humans, with their expressive faces and long arms. Here are 10 facts about praying mantids that you might not know.
Stick insects live on every continent except Antarctica, though most of the world's stick insects inhabit the tropics. You may know stick insects for their camouflage, but there's a lot more to Phasmids than that. Here are 10 cool facts about stick insects you might not know.
Flies are common pests in the home and yard, but they do pose a health risk. A single house fly can carry over one million bacteria on its body. Control of filth flies involves good sanitation practices supplemented with barriers and traps.
Centipedes and millipedes tend to get grouped together, but they're quite different creatures. Though both are arthropods, that's where the similarities end. Here's how to tell which is which.
Bees and wasps belong to the order Hymenoptera, and are similar in many ways. However, there are some important differences. This article outlines the major distinctions between bees and wasps.
Finding an engorged tick on your body is never fun. Ticks do carry diseases, and your first line of defense is avoiding their bites. Follow these 10 tips to avoid ticks, and more importantly, tick bites, when you head outdoors.
People swear that bug zappers make a big difference in their backyard mosquito population, but research proves otherwise. Find out why bug zappers don't work to control mosquitoes.
Insects require oxygen to live, and produce carbon dioxide as a waste product, just as we do. Insects, don't have lungs, so how do insects breathe?
Do you hate finding bugs in your house? You can't keep every insect or spider outdoors, but you can make it difficult for bugs to find their way into your home. Here are 15 ways to bug proof your home.
From jumping spiders to tarantulas, spiders all share certain traits. These 10 facts about spiders will teach you what all spiders have in common.
Even for people who love insects, some bugs can be really annoying. Through a very unscientific poll, I have compiled this list of the nine most annoying insects of all.
There are tiny, black bugs in my house and they jump when I get near them! What are they, and how do I get rid of them?
Did you ever wonder why so many insects circle around your porch light?
Got stink bugs? Brown marmorated stink bugs from Asia were accidentally introduced in North America. These exotic, invasive insects can be a real problem for homeowners, as the stink bugs like to spend the winter in people's homes. Learn how to get rid of stink bugs.
If you drive through a swarm of Florida lovebugs, you'll know it. These insects are known as a nuisance along Florida roads. What are Florida lovebugs?
Are you sure it's a mosquito? Some insects that look like mosquitoes don't bite at all. Learn to tell the difference between mosquitoes, midges, and crane flies.
Before you settle into your hotel room, take a few minutes to look for any signs of bed bugs. Learn what to look for, where to look, and what to do if you find bed bugs in your hotel room. Page 3.
Fireflies are amazing insects! Learn 10 cool facts about fireflies.
These tips will help you provide the proper food for your caterpillar, even if you aren't sure what kind of caterpillar it is. Page 3.
You've heard this before, haven't you - flies vomit and poop on you when they land on you. Do you want to know if it's true?
If you've got a bed bug infestation, it pays to install a bed bug mattress cover on both your mattress and box spring. Learn what a bed bug cover does, and how to use it.
Ants may be the most successful insects on Earth. They've evolved into sophisticated social insects that fill all kinds of unique niches. From thief ants that rob from other colonies to weaver ants that sew homes in the treetops, ants are a diverse insect group. This article will introduce you to all kinds of ants.
Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies and moths. What do caterpillars eat?
Feel something moving inside your ear and wonder if it's a bug? It just might be.
Beneficial insects prey on the pests gardeners detest, keeping insect populations in check. You should learn to recognize these top 10 beneficial insects in your garden.
People often mistake the daddy longlegs, also called the harvestman, for a spider. Though they are both arachnids, the daddy longlegs is quite different from a spider in several ways.
Stinging caterpillars use poison-filled bristles to defend themselves from predators. If you touch a stinging caterpillar, you'll know it by the burning, itching, or just plain painful sensation that follows. These pictures will help you learn to recognize stinging caterpillars - before you touch them.
Before you use a bug bomb product to eliminate a pest problem in your home, read these important directions and safety precautions. Each year people misuse bug bombs, resulting in damage to property and serious health impacts for family members. Don't become a statistic.
Honey bees use their stores of energy-rich honey to get them through lean times, including winter. Worker bees gather nectar from flowers and convert it into enough honey to keep the colony alive. How do bees make honey from nectar?
When it comes to mosquitoes, it's not the bite that's the problem. It's the annoying itch that persists for days after the mosquito has finished its meal. Why do mosquito bites itch, anyway?
Have you ever spent a summer day watching dragonflies flying around a pond or lake? Learn more about the biology and behavior of these incredible insects. Here are 10 cool facts about dragonflies.
Scientists, animal rights activists, and biological ethicists have long debated this common question: do insects feel pain? It's not an easy question to answer. We can't know for certain what insects feel, so how do we know if insects feel pain?
Learn about the life cycle of ladybugs, and what happens in each stage of life - egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
Though honeybees get all the credit, native pollen bees do the bulk of the pollination chores in many gardens, parks, and forests. Here are 10 native pollen bees every gardener should know.
I once endured chigger bites so itchy I would have given state secrets to the enemy to make the itching stop. So what are chiggers, and where do they hang out?
Tarantulas are carnivores. Here's more information on what they eat, and how they catch their prey.
How do bed bugs get in your home? They travel home with family members who stay in bed bug infested hotels, usually. Learn how to avoid bed bugs at hotels by planning wisely, inspecting thoroughly, and taking control measures when you return home.
People often confuse ants and termites. Both insects live in social colonies, and may take up residence in or near your home. Take a closer look - there are some distinct differences.
I have eastern tent caterpillars in my trees. Will they kill my trees? How do I get rid of them?
How much do insect stings hurt? Justin Schmidt, a researcher from the Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, can tell you from personal experience.
Carpenter bees nest in bare, weathered wood, and often take up residence in porches and decks. While this can be a nuisance, carpenter bees are important pollinators and rarely pose a threat to people.
Honey bee mating involves one of the most dramatic examples of sexual suicide in the insect world.
Worried you might have a termite infestation in your home? This photo gallery will help you learn what termites look like, and how to recognize termite damage. Page 9.
A tarantula can make a great pet, but it's not the pet for everyone. Please don't make an impulsive tarantula purchase at a pet store unless you understand your responsibilities as a tarantula owner. A tarantula is an animal, not a toy. Here are 5 questions you should ask yourself before you get a pet tarantula.
Insects have a single vessel that functions as the heart and aorta, pumping hemolymph through the body. The insect circulatory system is an open system, where blood flows freely inside the body cavity without the aid of veins or arteries. Page 4.
Prime chigger habitat includes overgrown lawns, ground covers, leaf litter, weedy areas, and densely planted shrubs or trees.
Many people believe that if you touch a butterfly's wings, it will no longer be able to fly, and will die. Is this true or not?
Bed bugs were thought to be a pest of the past, but these parasites have made a resurgence in recent years. Learn to recognize bed bugs, and understand their life cycle.
This home remedy for killing fire ants gets passed around the internet quite a lot. But does it work? Do grits kill fire ants?
With over 350,000 species of beetles already described, the order Coleoptera is the largest insect group by far. How much do you know about these insects? Here are 10 fascinating facts about beetles.
The Tussock Moth caterpillars, family Lymantriidae, are voracious eaters capable of defoliating entire forests. This photo gallery identifies and describes ten tussock moth caterpillars.
Are you raising painted lady butterflies in your elementary school classroom? Do these familiar butterflies visit your yard? Here are 7 fascinating facts about painted ladies.
Butterflies and moths, all members of the order Lepidoptera, undergo complete metamorphosis with four stages - egg, larve, pupa, and adult. In each of these four life cycle stages, the insect looks and behaves quite differently from the others.
Even if you think your trip was free of bed bugs, it's worth taking a few extra steps while unpacking to kill any potential pests. Page 4.
The most basic definition of an insect is an organism with three pairs of legs and three body regions – head, thorax, and abdomen. Entomologists, scientists who study insects, might also add that insects have a pair of antennae and external mouthparts. As you learn more about insects, you will find there are some exceptions to these rules.
Bed bugs are notoriously difficult to eliminate once they've established themselves in a dwelling. What makes it so hard to get rid of bed bugs?
Though both dragonflies and damselflies belong to the order Odonata, there are features that separate the two groups into suborders. Knowing whether a mystery odonate is a dragonfly or damselfly will help you identify it. This article outlines the differences between dragonflies and damselflies.
Ants and aphids have a mutualistic relationship. Ants feed on the honeydew excreted by the aphids, and in exchange, they protect the aphids. Some ants take their jobs as aphid caretakers pretty seriously.
It's hard to tell if insects sleep the way we do. They don't have eyelids, for one thing, so you'll never see a bug close its eyes for a quick nap. So what's the answer - do insects sleep?
Ever had chigger bites? If you have, you'll never forget them. Chigger bites are probably the itchiest bug bites you'll ever experience. These 10 tips will help you avoid chigger bites.
Paper wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets all make paper nests, though the size, shape, and location of their nests differ. Paper wasps build umbrella-shaped wasp nests suspended underneath eaves and overhangs. Hornets construct large, football-shaped nests. Yellowjackets make their nests underground. In general, though, the process of constructing all wasp nests is the same.
Grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, and katydids all belong to the same order - Orthoptera. Within this group, the grasshoppers and locusts are separated from the crickets and katydids by certain characteristics. These are the major differences between the two suborders of Orthoptera.
Do your homework before you travel. Research your hotel or resort, and pack appropriately to thwart bed bugs. Page 2.
How does an insect make sense of the world, move from place to place, or breathe, eat, and mate? Something must control all of these vital functions. Do insects have brains?
Termites live in social colonies and are important decomposers and soil builders. How much do you know about termites? Learn more with these 10 cool facts about termites.
Thinking of turning your yard into a butterfly habitat? Here are 10 tips to help you attract the most butterflies to your backyard.
Dung beetles are some of the most fascinating critters on the planet. Learn how dung beetles navigate, care for their young, and cool off on hot summer days.
: What Do Killer Bees Look Like? I live in an area with killer bees (Africanized bees). How can I tell
The honey bee, Apis mellifera, is one of several species of bees that produce honey. Honey bees live in colonies, or hives, of 50,000 bees on average. A honey bee colony consists of a queen, drones, and workers. All play roles in the survival of the community.
Firewood can harbor insects, from boring beetles to carpenter ants. Invasive insects transported in firewood can infest new areas, leading to the loss of thousands of trees. You can minimize insect problems by collecting and storing your firewood properly.
Each member of a honey bee colony has a specific role. All contribute to the survival of the colony. Queen bees lay eggs, drones mate with the queen, and workers take care of the chores.
: How Do Crickets Produce Sound? The chirping of crickets - to some an annoyance, to others, music. In
Learn the science behind how ticks sense and locate their hosts. Knowing how a tick gets on you can help you avoid them.
Learn the habits and traits of termites. Termites belong to the order Isoptera.
Centipedes are arthropods, like insects and spiders, but that's where the similarities end. Contrary to popular belief, centipedes do not have 100 legs.
Honey bees remain active during the cold, winter months. It requires a team effort to survive freezing temperatures. Learn how honey bees keep warm in the winter.
How do insects survive the cold winter months? Some migrate, some hibernate, and some insects make their own antifreeze to make it through cold weather.
Like campy, insect-themed science fiction films? Here's a list of 20 insect horror movies you can watch on Netflix streaming.
Butterfly or moth? Learn the 6 physical or behavioral traits that will help you tell the difference between butterflies and moths.
In moderate numbers, aphids don't do as much harm to garden plants as one might think. But once you start seeing sooty mold or curled leaves, it's time to act. Page 5.
An index of insects, arachnids, and other arthoprods profiled on this site, sorted alphabetically by common names.
The female praying mantis is often painted as an evil seductress, a cannibalistic lover who lures males closer only to eat them after mating. Is her reputation deserved? Does praying mantis sex always end in cannibalism of the male?
Ticks drink our blood, and often transmit disease when they do. Did you ever wonder why we need ticks, or what purpose they serve? What good are ticks?
Have an unknown insect that you want to identify? Use these questions to collect information about your specimen, before you try to use a key or field guide.
Though your chance of being stung by killer bees is fairly small, you should know what to do if you encounter them. Here's what you should (and shouldn't) do if you disturb aggressive bees.
This group of garden pests are the stuff of nightmares for vegetable gardeners. This dirty dozen represents the 12 worst vegetable garden pests to combat. Along with pictures and descriptions, you'll find practical and effective ways to control these tiny terrors, without using chemical pesticides.
Most insects undergo complete metamorphosis. Each stage of the life cycle – egg, larva, pupa, and adult – looks different from the others. Entomologists call these insects holometabolous. Page 4.
Whether large (like a monarch butterfly) or small (like a spring azure), butterflies share certain morphological features. This diagram highlights the basic common anatomy of an adult butterfly or moth.
Cicadas calling for mates produce a deafening sound. How do cicadas produce such a loud sound? Male cicadas use their species-specific calls to attract female mates.
Insect sex is, for the most part, similar to other animal sex. For most insects, mating requires direct contact between a male and a female. But for those of you who really want to know more about insect sex, here's a bit more information about how insects mate.
Bed bugs are making headlines, as a rise in bed bug infestations hits cities and towns all over the world. Why are bed bugs making a comeback?
The Painted Lady inhabits backyards and meadows throughout most of the world, and is the most widespread butterfly species.
Wondering if you've got a fire ant problem? Learn how to identify fire ants before you reach for a pesticide unnecessarily.
If conditions were right, a single aphid could turn into 600 billion of the sap sucking pests in just one growing season. Good thing conditions are never quite right.
Dermestid beetles have a nasty habit of eating museum specimens and preserved insect collections. But their ability to digest keratin also makes them valuable for cleaning bones and skulls for diplay. Learn the habits and traits of dermestid beetles.
Monarch butterflies in North America make their way to Mexico each winter, a migration of some 2,000 miles. What do monarch butterflies eat?
Organic gardening catalogs sell ladybugs that you can release in your garden to control aphids and other pests. Do ladybug releases work, and how do you release them?
The order Coleoptera is the largest group in the insect world, and comprises nearly a quarter of all the described animal species on Earth. These articles include profiles of beetles and their families, and information on their behaviors and characteristics.
Killer bees, as they've been dubbed by the news media, arrived in the U.S. in 1990. What exactly are killer bees, and how dangerous are they?
If you need to identify an insect larva, you will first need to recognize its larval form. There are 5 types of insect larvae, differentiated by body form.
Just what makes that little old ant think he can move that rubber tree plant? Everyone knows an ant can't move a rubber tree plant. Or can it?
Bumblebees are familiar insects, but there's probably a lot you don't know. Learn about habitat, diet, life cycle, range, and more here.
At night, crickets chirp loudly. If you move toward them, however, they will instantly stop chirping and stay silent. Why do chirping crickets stop chirping when you move?
Most insects can hear, and use sounds to communicate and to navigate their environment. There are four types of insect auditory organs.
To effectively control Japanese beetles, you must control both the larval grubs and the adult beetles. This article explains the life cycle of Japanese beetles, and provides practical advice on controlling both the beetles and the grubs.
Millipedes also go by the name thousand leggers, but neither name is accurate. These slow-moving decomposers belong to their own arthropod class, the Diplopoda.
Caterpillars come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Some caterpillars are quite hairy, while others are smooth. Regardless of these varied features, all caterpillars share certain morphological features. These common features are labeled and described in this caterpillar diagram.