Bug vs. Insect What’s the Difference?

Whats The Difference

We often use the words bugs and insects interchangeably, but are they actually the same thing? The answer is more complicated than you might think. All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs.

When you see a bug or an insect in your Malvern, Jacksonville, or Benton home, you probably don’t care which category it falls into. You just want it gone. At Clark Exterminating, we can help educate you on bugs and insects and also rid your house of pests.

Science Class Review
So how is it possible that all bugs are insects but not the other way around? To answer that question, we need to take a trip down memory lane. Remember back in high school science class when you studied the classes and orders of insects? All insects are found under the Insecta class and bugs are a part of that class. Bugs are part of the order Hemiptera, so in reality, bugs are a type of insect. Insects always have three body parts and six legs. They also usually have four wings and two antennae.

True Bugs Suck
“True bugs” have a mouth shaped like straw or needle. These true bugs have specialized parts of their mouths to suck juices, mostly from plants. This is called a proboscis and actually looks like a long beak and works like a straw that we, as humans, would use. Some insects, like the honeybee and butterfly, have a retractable proboscis. Insects with movable mouthparts allow them to move food from the source to their mouth. The proboscis of a true bug is more rigid and cannot be rolled up.

A Bug’s Life
While bugs have three life stages, most insects have four. They start off as eggs, then larva or nymphs, pupa, and then adults. In the pupa stage, they are sealed inside a cocoon and experience significant biological changes until adulthood.
True bugs go through an incomplete metamorphosis which means they hatch as nymphs from their egg. They do not go through the pupa stage.

Winged Creatures
True bugs have a specialized top pair of wings. Most insects have four wings and true bugs are no exceptions. Some insects like beetles have hardened forewings that protect the more fragile hindwings, or elytra, underneath. True bugs do not have those hindwings. However, they do have a specific membranous wing that is thick and colored where it connects to the body. The wing becomes thin and transparent toward the end.

Who’s Who
Aphids, cicadas, stink bugs, bed bugs, and water bugs are part of Hemiptera and are actually bugs. However, beetles, butterflies, bees, and flies are all just insects.
There are also non-insect pests like millipedes, pillbugs, and spiders that are in completely different categories. Spiders are arachnids since they have eight legs, two body parts, and no wings or antennae.

While it’s important to know what you’re dealing with, when these pests are invading your home, we know you just want them out. At Clark Exterminating, we can help you get the pest or bug out of your Central Arkansas home. Call us today at 501-588-2514 if you’re in the Greater Little Rock area or 501-776-1388 in the Benton area.

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