A basic knowledge of insects is needed to identify and control insects that may be found in your home.  Insects are the largest, most diverse group in the animal kingdom.  According to studies, half of all known animals are insects.  As much as we dislike insects inside of our homes, without them, our ecosystem would collapse within months.  They are both beneficial and harmful.  They pollinate our food, decompose organic matter, and solve crimes.  On the other hand, they are known to spread diseases, and damage plants and structures.

The most basic definition of an insect is that it is made up of 3 pairs of legs and 3 body regions (head, thorax, and abdomen).  Below is a breakdown of each region of an insect:


  • The head consists of the mouthparts, antennae, and eyes.
  • Mouthparts are used to drink, chew, or even suck their food.  Some insects bite and pinch using their mouthparts.
  • The antennae are used to judge sounds, vibrations, and other environmental factors.
  • Insects can have compound or simple eyes.  Compound eyes are large with many lenses which gives the insect the ability to see complex images in its environment.  Simple eyes contain only one lens.
  • Some insects have both simple and compound eyes.


  • The thorax includes the wings and legs…all 6 legs!
  • Legs come in different shapes and sizes depending on the insect and what their purpose is.
  • Wings also come in different shapes and sizes.  Some are colorful and vertical, while others are flat and transparent.  Either way, these are very helpful in identifying the pest.


  • Contains the insect’s organs.
  • Organs include digestive organs and reproductive organs similar to that of humans.

If you have found an insect in or around  your home and would like help in identifying it…contact Northwest Exterminating.

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