Where Do Clothes Moths Come From, Terminix

Where Do Clothes Moths Come From?

Contents

See also:  Protecting Your Home from Bed Bugs, Bed Bugs: Get Them Out and Keep Them Out, US EPA

It’s no fun reaching into your closest for a favorite sweater, suit or dress only to find the garment has been attacked by moths. These tiny insects are both stealthy and hungry, and they love to spend time in places where your clothes are waiting.

Where do clothes moths come from and why are they so intent on ruining your wardrobe? It’s not personal. It’s just their nature.

Types of clothes-eating moths

There are two types of moths that typically invade our closets, the webbing clothes moth (Tineola bisselliella) and the casemaking clothes moth (Tinea pellionella). Each is less than an inch in size. The webbing clothes moth is uniform in color while the casemaking clothes moth has dark specks on its wings. These moths are so small that you may not notice you have an infestation until clothing, bedding, floor coverings or stored items are damaged, or until you see a lot of flying adults.

Clothes-eating moths are different from the food-infesting moths you may see fluttering in your pantry or kitchen. Food moths can be double the size of clothes moths, and you can also spot the difference by examining their heads under a magnifying glass. Food moths are bald, while clothes moths often have tiny tufts of hair.

The life cycle of clothes moths

Adult clothes moths don’t have functional mouthparts and cannot damage your possessions. Their hungry offspring are the real culprits.

After mating, the female moth can lay up to 300 eggs before dying. Moth eggs hatch in four to 10 days during the summer but may take several weeks to hatch in the winter. The male moths live on for about a month to mate with other females, creating hundreds more of these tiny starving pests.

The moth larva begins feeding right after hatching from the egg. There are multiple larval stages which get progressively bigger through molting. The development time can vary from one month to three depending on food source and room temperature.

When the larvae of the casemaking moth are ready to pupate — beginning the process by which they develop into adult moths — they move up and attach themselves to a surface with a silk thread from which the pupa hangs. This is one way pest control service technicians know which species they are dealing with if they cannot find adults.

Pupation for webbing clothes moth larvae occurs inside a silken cocoon, which is usually found in places where the larvae have been feeding. Finding one of these cocoons in a drawer, closet or storage area is a sure sign of possible moth infestation.

The damage clothes moths can do

The larvae of both clothes moth species will feed on and potentially damage a variety of household items that have keratin (which they need to develop), including the following:

  1. Items made with animal fur or animal byproducts, such as silk, leather or wool
  2. Upholstered furniture and draperies
  3. Synthetic fabrics or cotton fabric blends that contain wool
  4. Dirty clothing, especially items that retain moisture from spilled liquids
  5. Items made from animal hair or that contain either human or pet hair

Damage to clothing often appears in hidden locations, such as under collars or cuffs. Damage to linens and fabrics may not be noticeable until a hole appears. Larvae can also feed on stray hair or clothing strands that become trapped in baseboards, under rugs or around furniture.

Planning for how to prevent clothes moths in closets — as well as other places where clothes and fabrics are stored — is the key to helping keep your precious items safe.

How to help prevent clothes moths in closets

Clothes moths can find their way to your closet through many different means. They can catch a ride on second-hand goods, whether it’s thrift store clothing, a consignment shop couch or a garage sale blanket. They also travel by way of items kept in storage spaces, sheds or garages, and through small cracks and crevices in the home. They can even just fly in through an open door or window or a damaged screen.

Regardless of how they arrive, there are a number of ways to help protect your clothing and other items from clothes moths. Cornell University’s Insect Diagnostic Laboratory offers these tips:

  1. Thoroughly inspect vulnerable clothes, fabrics and stored items at least once a year for moth larvae and damage. Consider discarding damaged items if it is difficult to repair them satisfactorily.
  2. Check areas around the home where moths may hide, looking for signs of infestation. Remove items from closets and drawers and vacuum thoroughly, trapping the lint on which larvae can feed.
  3. Clean regularly to help prevent lint, dust or hair from accumulating. Vacuum rugs and carpets, drapes, upholstered furniture and pet bedding. Vacuum under furniture that is seldom moved and along baseboards where wool lint might accumulate.
  4. Vacuum inside closets, around water heaters and other appliances, near air vents and ducts and in cracks and crevices along floors.
  5. Clean clothing and other fabrics thoroughly before storing them, especially if you will do so for a long period. Place items in secure plastic bags or airtight containers.
  6. When shopping for woolens or wool blends, consider buying items that the manufacturer has treated with a moth-resistant compound. Professional cleaners may also be able to add mothproofing to certain items.

Contrary to popular belief, cedar chests are not the best remedy for clothes moths. If you’re tired of moths munching on your wardrobe but can’t quite get rid of them, perhaps it’s time to call a professional. The pest control specialists at Terminix® will work with you to make sure those eager insects can no longer raid your closet.

Ticks vs. Bed Bugs: The Big Difference

You never want to see a tick on your body or a bed bug in your home. And especially when it comes to the latter, seeing one usually means there are others around. On the surface, ticks and bed bugs might seem similar: They are both pests that like to bite and feed on blood. But in fact, there’s more than one difference between these two creatures

Cleaning Tips to Help Prevent Pests in Your Home

A messy home can cause stress, health issues and, worst of all, bugs. Pests like to enter homes and cause chaos for the unsuspecting homeowners. The best way to prevent pests inside is to have a strong treatment plan and a spotless home.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian longhorned beetle is an exotic pest that has threatened a wide variety of hardwood trees in North America. It originated in China and Korea, most likely hitching a ride inside solid wood packing material from China to the United States. The Asian longhorned beetle was first detected in Brooklyn, New York, in 1996 and has since spread to a variety of states, including New Jersey, Ohio and Massachusetts.

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Tips to Get Rid of Stink Bugs in Your House

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13 Most Common Types of Moths (that can be a pest)

The word “moth” is likely to draw a very hideous image in your mind and you probably might end up picturing drab brown, terrifying insects. However, what you don’t know is that these flying insects have a lot more to them than what normally meets the eye.

There is a great number of moth species found all over the world, and Britain alone is home to some 2,500 beautiful and amazing species. They all greatly vary in size, color, habits, and characteristics.

What’s important to know here is that they offer a plethora of key ecological benefits. Moths play an integral role in the wildlife ecosystem. They are a vital food source for many other animals and they often also help pollinate flowers. They also help us human beings by letting us know about the health of our environment.

Although moths are seen all across the globe, and their species are found in great abundance, here are some of the most stunning and popular moths from all around the world.

Table of Contents

Anatomy of a Moth

Types of Moths

Luna Moth

Scientific name: Actias luna

This is a type of moth with lime-green colored wings and a white body, and is also often referred to as the American Moon Moth. It belongs to the Saturniidae family, also known as saturniids. Luna moth can be found in eastern Texas, central Florida, eastern North Dakota, and Nova Scotia, west to Saskatchewan. It is one of the largest moths in North America. These moths have a wingspan which is typically 114 mm, but can extend to 178 mm as well.

The hind wings of Luna moth have long curving tails and each of its wings consists of eyespots that have arcs of red, yellow, black, green, or blue. These eyespots are meant to confuse possible predators.

Atlas Moth

Scientific Name: Attacus atlas

This is an incredibly large saturniid moth that is widely prevalent in the forests of Asia. It is one of the world’s largest moths based on wing surface area. The wing size of an atlas moth measures between 9.8 and 11.8 inches, with the surface area extending to almost 400 square cm.

Since it’s so large, the Atlas Moth also weighs a lot more than most other moths. Female atlas moths weigh around 28 grams, while males are 25 grams. These are moths are highly distinguishable because of their multicolored wings, however, one feature that clearly sets them apart from other moth species is that they don’t have a mouth.

Their wings are a combination of reddish brown and copper, often with pink, purple, and white lines.

Indianmeal Moth

Scientific name: Plodia interpunctella

This moth gets its name from the United States where it was discovered to be a meal pest that largely feeds on maize, or better known as “Indian Corn.” It is a pyraloid moth that belongs to the Pyralidae family.

The Indianmeal moth is also known by various other names including grain moth, weevil moth, flour moth, and pantry moth. It is one of those moths that have been found in every continent except Antarctica. It is found in great abundance particularly in Florida, United States where it thrives in tropical habitats.

Adult Indian meal moths are about 8-10 mm in length and have a wingspan of 16-20 mm. Their forewings are usually reddish brown in color, but can also sport shades of dark gray and bronze.

Gypsy Moth

Scientific name: Lymantria dispar

The gypsy moth has several subspecies, namely the European gypsy moth, Asian gypsy moth, and the Japanese gypsy moth. The wingspan of male gypsy moths ranges from 3-4 cm and for females it is 5.6 to 6.7 cm.

The European gypsy moth is found in various areas including North Africa, Europe and western Asia. One of their key identifying characteristics is that their winged females are flightless.

The Asian gypsy moth, on the other hand, is found in eastern Asia and western North America. Its key feature is the flying females which are attracted to lights.

Lastly, the Japanese gypsy moth is found in the whole of Japan. The males of this species are fairly large and sport a very dark brown color.

Diamondback Moth

Scientific name: Plutella xylostella

This variety of moth is also known as ‘cabbage moth’ and is believed to have originated from Europe. They are now also found in great abundance in Europe, New Zealand, the Americas, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

These moths are considered to be pests that feed on cruciferous crops. They are small in size, and are typically grayish brown in color, but can often sport a diamond-shaped cream colored band, hence the name Diamondback moth.

The wingspan of diamondback moths is about 15 mm and the length of their body is almost 6 mm. They were initially killed with the help of pesticides, but over time, they have developed quite a resistance to the chemicals. This has resulted in new chemical and biological controls to kill these moths in other to prevent them from causing further damage.

Peppered Moth

Scientific name: Biston betularia

This is a night-flying moth and is most widespread in Ireland and Britain. It is also referred to as “Darwin’s moth” because it is one of the best examples of population genetics and natural selection, one of Darwin’s incredible theories.

Peppered moths get this unique name from the fact that they have white bodies with white speckles across their wings. They are often found resting on lichen-covered tree trunks and this black-white pattern helps camouflage them against the trees.

The wingspan of these moths is almost 55 mm. They have a stout body with very narrow and elongated forewings. Peppered moths are also commonly found in regions of China, Nepal, South Korea, Japan, Russia, and Europe, to name a few.

Fall Webworm Moth

Scientific name: Hyphantria cunea

This is an aesthetic pest that is found in a number of ornamental trees as well as different agricultural crops. They are native to North America and now can also be found in Asia and Europe.

The wingspan of adult fall webworm moths is approximately 30 mm, and they are often white in color, with dark-colored marks on their bodies. These moths are often confused with eastern tent caterpillars; however, unlike the latter, these moths feed within their tents with foliage present at the end of the branches.

They typically feed on numerous tree and shrub species, but some of their highly preferred host plants include sweet gum, oak, pecan, willow, and mulberry. They are usually found living in areas where their favorite host trees are present, as well as in a variety of different landscapes and forests.

Isabella Tiger Moth

Scientific name: Pyrrharctia Isabella

This type of moth is also known as woolly worm, woolly bear, and banded woolly bear. They are mostly found in southern Canada and the United States.

The Isabella tiger moth is known for its 13-segment larvae that are often covered with brown hair down in the middle. The anterior, however consists of black hair. The adult moths of this species sport a dull yellowish color with robust and scaly thorices.

They are also found in numerous cold regions including the Arctic. The wingspan of these moths ranges from 4.5-6.5 cm and the wings are orange-yellowish in color with pointed and marked forewings.

The species of these moths is referred to as a “generalist feeder” which means that they consume almost all types of plant species including many herbs and trees.

Japanese Silk Moth

Scientific name: Antheraea yamamai

Also known as Japanese oak moth, this moth variety is endemic to East Asia, but can also be found in Europe to where they have been imported over time for tussar silk production. Other regions include northeastern Italy, the Balkans, regions of Austria and southeastern Europe.

The Japanese silk moth has been cultivated in Japan for a long time, mainly for its super elastic and strong white silk which is extremely rare and expensive in today’s times. They are found in great many colors including bronze, chocolate brown, brownish grey, chromium yellow, and khaki.

The wingspan of these moths ranges from 110 – 150 millimeters and they are often marked and colored. One of their key distinguishing features is an elongated solid black spot present on their hind wing eye spot.

Codling Moth

Scientific name: Cydia pomonella

These moths are popularly known as major pests to agricultural crops, specifically fruits including pears and apples. They are great destructive pests that were first introduced to Europe by the settlers.

An interesting fact about the codling moths is that their larvae are unable to feed on leaves, which is the primary reason why their species are highly dependent on fruits. They attack fruits and prevent them from growing, which is what leads to premature ripening of the fruits.

After being introduced to Europe, the codling moths became widespread in a number of other regions including islands in the Pacific, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South and North America. They are not very large in size and they normally grow up to an average length of 10 mm while their wingspan is almost 20 mm.

Greater Wax Moth

Scientific name: Galleria mellonella

This moth is also known as honeycomb moth and it belongs to the Pyralidae family, same as the Indianmeal moth. It is distributed all across the world and is literally found everywhere. It gets its other common name, that is, honeycomb moth due to the fact that it does parasitization of honeybees and hives. This is a process that involves one organism living in or on another organism.

The greater wax moths were first identified as pests in Asia, after which their population spread all over New Zealand, some parts of Europe, northern America, and Great Britain. Although this species is distributed across the globe, they have reported in great abundance in ten European countries, twenty seven African countries, five island countries, nine Asian counties and three Latin American countries.

Since they cost such massive economic losses especially in areas where beekeeping is practiced, the need for severe control methods and chemical fugants have been on a great rise.

Giant Leopard Moth

Scientific name: Hypercompe scribonia

Also known as eyed tiger moth, the giant leopard moth belongs to the Erebidae family. This species is widely found throughout North America to Southern Ontario and further in Panama, Mexico, and Eastern United States.

The wingspan of these moths goes up to 76 mm and they sport a bright white color with a combination of hollow and solid neat, black blotches. The abdomen is colored dark blue with orange markings and the legs are black in color with white bands.

The adult male giant leopard moths grow to an average length of 51 mm while their female counterparts grow up to 30 mm. An interesting about this moth species is that their mating sessions are exceptionally long and can last for 24 hours or even more.

Light Brown Apple Moth

Scientific name: Epiphyas postvittana

This is known as a leaf-roller moth and belongs to the Tortricidae family. It is an extremely polyphagous insect and is known to particularly attack fruits such as apples.

The population of light brown apple moths is really restricted in the United States; however, they still pose a great threat to agricultural and ecological systems.

The adult males of these species are often confused with other leaf roller moths, particularly due to their varying colors. The males have a forewing that grows to an average of 6-10 mm in length that is usually a light brown color. The female adult moths, on the other hand, have a forewing length of 7-13 mm and their forewings have darker colored tips with oblique markings.

Fascinatingly, the light brown apple moth is quite popular for its feeding habits and is known to feed on approximately 123 dicotyledonous plant species. Out of these, 22 are native to Australia.

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21 Types of Insects Commonly Found In and Around the Home

Do you want to know all about the kind of insects that might be crawling around in your home? Are you curious about the different types of insects you see wandering around in your garden? Are you worried about the pests that may damage your property? We have just the guide for you so that you can identify the most common insects on the planet. Whether you want to get rid of them or are just interested in them, the first step is to learn about all the different types of insects that exist on this planet.

Insects are hexapod invertebrates which have a three-part body type. This includes the head, thorax and abdomen, as well as compound eyes, a pair of antennae, and three pairs of jointed legs. There are more than a million different species of insects on the planet; it is estimated that there are nearly 6-10 million number of extant species of insects. Over 90% of all life forms on the planet are actually insects. Insects are commonly found in any and all environments from underwater to the land. We have outlined some of the most common ones for easier identification.

Table of Contents

Ants

An infographic image about ants.

A colony of ants on a block of thick wood.

Ants belong to the Formicidae family and have evolved from wasp-like ancestors. They have been on the planet for an estimated 140 million years, and there are over 12,500 classified species of ants. They have a node-like structure, slender waists, and elbowed antennae. They have huge organized colonies and form territories with millions of individuals which include workers, soldiers, and other specialized groups. Some species also live in smaller natural cavities.

Most ant colonies have drone ants which are fertile males and one or more fertile females which are the Queens. They operate as a unified entity and work together to keep the colony functioning. They have a system of division of labor, ability to solve complex problems, and communicate with each other. Ants are all over the world and thrive in most ecosystems.

Mosquito

A black mosquito, biting a person’s skin.

Mosquitoes have 3,500 known species from the order of the Diptera. They have a pair of wings, segmented bodies, three pairs of legs, elongated mouths, and feathery antennae. They have been recorded to be on this planet since 90 million old. They lay eggs on the surface of the water to reproduce.

They have tube-like mouths which they use to pierce the skin of their host. Mosquitoes suck on the blood as a source of protein and iron. While biting the host, they transmit some of their saliva to the host. This can result in itching or a rash. Some species of the mosquito also play a huge role in the transmission of diseases like dengue fever, Zika virus, malaria, yellow fever, West Nile virus, and many others. They are responsible for over 700,000 deaths annually, which is more than any other animal.

Flies

An infographic image about flies.

A close up photo of a horsefly.

Flies have a pair of functional wings and use vestigial hindwings to balance themselves. They have around 125,000 classified species including the commonly known housefly and horse fly. They have been on this planet for around 240 million years. They have a pair of compound eyes, a pair of wings, antennae, mobile heads, and mouthparts designed to suck or pierce. Their halteres are responsible for the high-speed sensors that allow them advanced aerobatics and rotational movement.

They have short life-cycles and undergo metamorphosis from when they hatch to adulthood. They are the second most important pollinators after bees since they survive on liquefied foods like nectar. Houseflies are often responsible for food-borne illnesses and can be a huge annoyance.

Fleas

An infographic image about fleas.

Fleas on human skin, preparing to suck blood.

Fleas have over 2,500 species and survive as external parasites on birds and mammals. They survive on blood or hematophagy that they collect from their hosts. They are usually brown in color and have narrow or flat bodies. They have really strong claws that they use to hang on to the skin of the host. Their hind legs are used for jumping, and they have mouthparts that are used to suck blood and pierce the skin.

Termites

An infographic image about termites.

Termites living in the dirt.

Termites shared common ancestors with those of cockroaches and are part of the epifamily Termitoidae. There are around 3,106 species of termites and were once called ‘white ants.’ They work on a system of division of labor like ants and bees. They have fertile Kings and Queens, as well as sterile workers and soldiers. They feed on cellulose and dead plant material like animal dung, wood, and soil. They help to recycle wood and plant matter and are found mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. Termites are an invasive species and can cause harm to house structures, furniture, books, and documents.

Beetles

A jewel beetle on a green leaf.

Beetles are part of the order of Coleoptera and have around 400,000 species. They make up around 40% of all insects, and new species are discovered regularly. They live in almost every habitat on the planet except for the poles and the sea. They often feed on fungi and plants but can also be found eating other invertebrates, animals, and plant debris. They have a hard exoskeleton and are endopterygotes. This means that they go through a metamorphosis from when they hatch till adulthood. Different species have different colors and patterns which allows them to camouflage or warn toxicity.

They have been part of human culture since the ancient Egyptian civilization that turned them into sacred scarabs. Over 300 species of beetles are even used as food, especially in their larval form. They can have a huge impact on forestry and agriculture since they can help to control pests.

Bees

A yellow and black bee drinking nectar from a yellow flower.

Bees are closely related to ants and wasps and belong to the Apoidea family. They are flying insects that have a huge role in the pollination process. The most known species of the bee is the Western Honey Bee which makes beeswax and honey. They are found on almost every continent except Antarctica and thrive in almost every habitat.

They are social creatures, and most live in colonies. They feed on pollen and nectar which is their primary energy source. There has been a steady decline in the number of wild bees which has impacted the pollination process. Efforts are being made to protect bees since they play a crucial role in the dissemination of flowers and vegetation.

Bed bugs

An infographic image about bed bugs.

A bed bug is a notorious parasite living in people’s bedroom.

One of the worst home-invading insects are bed bugs because they bite, are gross (verging on frightening) and disturb our sleep. They’re difficult to get rid of and can make your home pretty much uninhabitable because who wants to get attached while sleeping.

Bedbugs feed on human blood and are nocturnal creatures. Their bite causes a lot of health concerns such as psychological effects, allergic symptoms, and skin rashes. The area of the skin they bite forms blisters and symptoms and may take a few days to appear. Some people may feel lethargic or develop a fever along with itchiness. While they do not transmit infectious diseases, they can be quite an annoyance.

They breed in high-density areas, and infestations usually occur from lack of hygiene. It is really hard to eliminate bedbugs from the house since they can survive up to a year without any food source. Homeowners may need to increase the heat, wash clothes at high temperatures, use pesticides, and frequently vacuum altogether to get rid of the bugs.

There’s much to know and learn about this disgusting insect. We put together an epic bed bug guide – check it out:

Butterflies

A beautiful butterfly on a purple flower.

Butterflies are part of the Lepidoptera order which includes moths. They have big, brightly colored wings and have a fluttering flight. They have been estimated to be on the planet for almost 56 million years. They have a typical four-stage life cycle and reproduce by laying eggs. They are usually found in tropical regions, but some species also survive in cold locations. They are polymorphic creatures, which means that different species have different colors and patterns. They use this to evade predators by camouflage, aposematism, and mimicry.

Ladybugs

A ladybug clinging on thin leaves.

Ladybugs are part of the beetle family and are scientifically known as Coccinellidae. They are useful insects since they prey on invasive species like scale insects of aphids which are agricultural pests. However, some species like the Mexican bean beetle can also feed on potatoes, beans, grain, and other crops. They increase in number very fast, especially if their natural predators are scarce in their living enviornment. Ladybugs are mainly found in tropical and temperate regions of the world. They are red, yellow, or orange in color with small black spots on the cover of their wings.

Crickets

An infographic image about crickets.

A cricket clinging on a green leaf.

Crickets come from the family of the Gryllidae. They have round heads, long antennae, and cylindrical bodies. Their hind legs have enlarged thighs which are used for powerful jumps. Most species are flightless, but some do have hind wings that can be folded. There are more than 900 species of crickets that live around the world but thrive in tropical regions. Crickets are usually nocturnal, and most species have males that chirp loud and persistently to attract females.

Crickets are often characters in literature and poetry like The Cricket on the Hearth, The Adventures of Pinocchio, James and the Giant Peach, and Mulan. In Brazil, crickets are considered as omens in folktales. They are even kept as pets in some European countries and China. They are eaten as food in some regions in Southeast Asia after deep-frying for snacks.

Earwigs

An earwig insect settling on a green leaf.

Earwigs are part of the Dermaptera order. They have around 2,000 species and are found on all continents except Antarctica. They have a pair of forceps-like pincers, cerci, membranous wings, and forewings. They are usually nocturnal and live in moist, small crevices during the day. They become really active at night when they feed on plants and other insects. They can damage crops, flowers, and foliage, which make them an invasive species of insects. Earwigs have five molts a year and display maternal care behavior which is rare for insects.

Dragonflies

A blue dragonfly on a very thin leaf.

Dragonflies belong to the order of Odonata and are known for their unequal sized wings. Their hind wings are broader than their forewings, and they have multi-faced eyes as well as elongated bodies. Sometimes they can be seen with colored patches and can be found in brilliant metallic or iridescent colorations. Their eyes have nearly 24,000 ommatidia each. Dragonfly ancestors have been present on earth for more than 325 million years ago when their wings used to be 30 in wide. Dragonflies have around 3,000 species around the world.

Most dragonflies are found in tropical regions, but some species live in temperate regions. They are predatory creatures, even in their aquatic larval stage. They are really agile and fast fliers, with some even crossing oceans in migration seasons. Due to the loss of wetland habitats, the number of dragonflies has fallen.

Booklice

A booklice is an insect commonly found in old books.

Common names for the Psocoptera include booklice, barkflies, and barklice. They first appeared on earth almost 300 million years ago. There are almost 5,500 species of booklice most of whom have been documented recently. Booklice grow up to 1–10 millimeters in length. They gained their name because they were commonly found in old books since they feed on the paste used for binding books. Barklice usually feed on lichen or algae and live in trees.

Wasps

A yellow jacket wasp, which almost looks like a bee.

Wasps are part of the Hymenoptera order. They have a common ancestor with the Bee and the Ant. They are paraphyletic but do not form clades like ants and bees. Some wasp species are pollinators while others are predators. The most common wasps’ species are yellowjackets and hornets, which are part of the Vespidae family. They live together as non-reproducing workers under a fertile Queen. Majority of wasps species are solitary creatures that live and breed separately. Solitary wasps are usually parasitoidal which means that they lay their eggs in or on other insects. The wasp larvae usually kill the host unlike other parasites

The wasps first appeared in the Jurassic times and currently have spread to every region on the planet except the poles. They have thousands of classified species like the Asian giant hornet, tarantula hawks, and solitary chalcid wasps.

Cockroaches

An infographic image about cockroaches.

A close up look of a cockroach.

Cockroaches are part of the same order as termites called the Blattodea. There are 4,600 species of cockroaches, out of which 30 species are associated with humans. 4 species of 4,600 species are actually well-known as common pests. The world often depicts them as dirty pests, but most of the cockroach species live all over the world as non-destructive insects.

Cockroaches have been around since ancient times dating back to almost 320 million years ago but didn’t have the internal ovipositors that modern roaches have now. They are the most primitive living neopteran insects since they don’t have any special adaptations. Some species like the gregarious German cockroach have elaborate social structures with kin recognition, information transfer, social dependence, and common shelters. They have chewing mouthparts and are hardy insects. They can survive in tropical heat and even the Arctic cold. Tropical roaches are bigger than the species that live in temperate zones.

Grasshoppers

A beautiful orange grasshopper.

Grasshoppers belong to the suborder of Caelifera and have been around since 250 million years. They are the oldest living group among herbivorous insects who chew their food. They have powerful hind legs that help them escape threats by leaping in the air. They are ground-dwelling insects who can have really high population densities, depending on climate and environmental conditions.

Some species of grasshoppers can change their behavior and color when in swarms, and this is when they are commonly known as locusts. They usually survive on plants but can eat vegetable, crops, pasture, and cereals when they swarm. Locusts can destroy complete crops over wide areas since they group together in millions to swarm. Swarms can cause devastating effects and even result in famine. Even in small numbers, they are considered pests.

They protect themselves from predators through camouflage or even startle them with a tactic called wing-flash while jumping in the air. Some species like the rainbow grasshopper have warning coloration which warms predators of potential toxicity. They can get affected by parasites and different diseases; even their eggs are at risk. In some regions like Indonesia and Mexico, they are eaten as food.

Silkworms

White silkworms are the biggest and very important producers of silk.

Silkworms are the caterpillar or larva of the silkmoth. They are important insects since they are the biggest producers of silk. They feed on white mulberry leaves and osage orange. They are dependent on humans for reproduction due to generations of selective breeding.

Wild silkworms aren’t viable options for the production of silk and are different from selectively bred silkworms. Silkworms have actually been bred for at least 5,000 years in China for the production of raw silk. This practice spread to South Asia, Japan, Korea, and the West. These breeds have lost their ability to fly, as well as their color pigments.

Firefly

Fireflies are very popular due to their use of bioluminescence.

Fireflies are called Lampyridae and are part of the Coleoptera. They have wings and are soft-bodied beetles. They are commonly recognized due to their use bioluminescence which helps them attract prey and mates. In many regions over the world, they are called ‘glow worms’. They produce a cold light that has no ultraviolet or infrared frequencies. The light is produced through a chemical reaction in the lower abdomen region and maybe pale red, green, or yellow. Some species in the Eastern United States also emit seemingly blue light.

There are around 2,100 species of the fireflies that live in tropical and temperate climates. They live in habitats like marshes or wet, wooded areas and lay eggs where food is in abundance. Some species lay eggs that also emit light.

Moths

Photo of a large red moth that looks very attractive.

Moths belong to the order of Lepidoptera and are closely related to butterflies. There are over 160,000 species of moths, and most of them are nocturnal, unlike butterflies. They have huge wings, and many species have beautiful colors and patterns on them. They have antennae that look like little feathers, and their wings are closely held flat on the backs when they aren’t flying. They are attracted to light, which could be because they use the light of the moon to guide them while flying.

Three in every four organisms on earth is an insect. They form a huge portion of living creatures on the planet and come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and live in every habitat on the planet. So, its time we learn a little bit about the creatures that we are sharing this earth with.

Silverfish

An infographic image about silverfish.

Silverfish in the wild. Silverfish received their name because they move like a fish and has a silver color.

Silverfish get their name due to their fish-like movements and silvery light grey color. They are a wingless insect that belongs to the order of Zygentoma. The silverfish survives on a diet of sugars and starches, which is where its scientific name ‘L. Saccharina’ comes from.

They are usually 13–25 mm long and their tapered abdomens give them a fish-like appearance. When they are newly-hatched, they are white in color but develop a grey-blue color with a metallic shine when they become adults. They avoid light and are agile creatures that can outrun their predators with ease.

Three in every four organisms on earth is an insect. They form a huge portion of living creatures on the planet and come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colors, patterns, and live in every habitat on the planet. So, it’s time we learn a little bit about the creatures that we are sharing this earth with.

What about spiders?

While spiders are commonly found in and around the home, they aren’t an insect. They are technically an arachnid (just like scorpions). But, I get your point, the spirit of such an article should include spiders seeing as they are a similar nuisance… except that they help reduce insects in your home.

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