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Bug, Insect, Spider?

Posted in Pest Advice on November 07, 2014

Is it a Bug, Insect or Spider? 

Bug is a term used to describe a range of creatures including insects, spiders, mites, millipedes, and other 'creepy crawlies.'

Is it a bug or an insect or a spider or what? There is often confusion here because scientists classify animals accurately so that they can tell what the relationship between them is. But non-scientists use common terms to describe 'creepy crawlies.'

To a scientist, the term bug refers to a particular group of insects almost all of which have sucking mouthparts. But the word bug is often used by the layperson to describe insects, spiders, mites and 'creepy crawlies' plus bacteria, and other micro-organisms.

Technically spiders are not insects because spiders have 8 legs, not 6. Also, a spider's body is divided into two main parts instead of the insect pattern of three main parts.

These differences between the groups that fall into the lay person's term bug can be of some importance. Insecticides are usually effective against spiders and creatures such as millipedes, slaters and centipedes but are less effective against mites such as house dust mites. Mites are controlled by using an insecticide in conjunction with changing conditions where they are a problem.

It is therefore important to know what the pest is that you are wanting to control, at least down to the level of insect, spider, mite etc. The Kiwicare Problem Solver (Home Pest, Garden Pest and Outdoor Cleaning) will help you identify what you are dealing with.

David Brittain

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