How to Identify Bugs in House

Bugs are small arthropods with different types of mouthparts. The insects with sucking mouthparts are called true bugs. Other bugs may have lapping, chewing, siphoning or sponging mouthparts. Several types of bugs such as ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, beetles, wasps, flies, termites, etc.  can be found inside houses. Most household bugs are not harmful to humans. Some can even be beneficial. However, few of them can be harmful as they may bite humans and serve as carriers of diseases.

 

Key Areas Covered

1. What are Bugs
     – Definition, Facts
2. How to Identify Bugs in House
     – Household Bugs

Key Terms: Bugs, Chewing Mouthparts, Sucking Mouthparts, Siphoning Mouthparts, True Bugs

How to Identify Bugs in House - Infograph

What are Bugs

Bugs are arthropods with different types of mouthparts. Most bugs live in terrestrial habitats. Most bugs are insects, but only bugs with sucking mouthparts are called true bugs. True bugs are classified under order Hemiptera. They may suck either plant sap or animal fluids. Approximately, 80, 000 species of true bugs are found worldwide. Some bugs also have lapping and chewing, chewing, siphoning, and sponging mouthparts. Different types of mouthparts of bugs are shown in figure 1.

How to Identify Bugs in House

Figure 1: Bug’s Mouthparts

(A) Lapping, (B) Siphoning, (C) Sucking, (D) Mosquito Mouthparts

How to Identify Bugs in House

Some bugs in the house and their characteristic features are shown below.

Household Bugs

Type of Bug

Facts

Ants

Ants are not harmful and are not carriers of diseases. They love crumbs and come into the house due to the changes in the climate.

Beetles

Beetles are the most common insects in the world. They feed on dead organic matter. Some beetles feed on dried food such as flour and cereal. They hang out in clothes, carpets, cracks, lint, and corners of drawers and closets.

Centipedes/Millipedes

Centipedes have many jointed appendages in their body. They help to make the house less creepy-crawly as they feed on soft-bodied insects, spiders, worms, and other arthropods.

Wasps and bees

Both wasps and bees infest inside small holes. Wasps feed on larvae and adults of most of the other insects. Bees such as honey bees mainly feed on nectar.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches can contaminate food, trigger asthma and allergies, and destroy paper and fabrics. They have both chewing and sucking mouthparts. They may serve as vectors for bacteria. Germen cockroach is the most common type found indoors.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes mainly feed on plant sap. But, during reproduction, the female mosquitoes rely on blood in order to obtain proteins. mosquitoes are the carriers of diseases such as malaria, filariasis, etc.

Spiders

Spiders rarely bite humans. They rely on body fluids of small insects.

Flies

Flies rely on organic matter. Some flies rely on nectar. They serve as carriers of diseases.

Lice

Head lice, booklice, and psocids are some kinds of lice live in the house. Head lice feed on blood and booklice feed on wallpaper paste or cereal.

Crickets

Crickets rely on fruits, vegetables or meat. They lay eggs outside the house.

Silverfish and firebrats

Silverfish and firebrats rely on organic matter, sugar or starch. They have chewing mouthparts.

Bedbugs

Bedbugs have oval, flat-shaped bodies. They are red-brown in color. They suck blood.

European earwig

European earwigs have forceps at the end of their abdomen. They are dark brown in color. They have chewing mouthparts.

Termites

Termites have pale-colored, soft bodies. They are called silent killers as they consume cellulose-based plat materials. They have chewing mouthparts.

Conclusion

Bugs are animals sucking, chewing, lapping or siphoning mouthparts. Mosquitoes, termites, cockroaches, bedbugs, lice, spiders, flies, etc. are some bugs commonly found in houses.

Reference:

1. “Mouthparts.” Mouthparts, Bugs, Museum Victoria, Australia, Available here.

Image Courtesy:

1.”Evolution insect mouthparts coloured derivate” By Evolution insect mouthparts coloured.png: Xavier Vázquezderivative work: Siga – Evolution insect mouthparts coloured.png (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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