Insects are said to be the most successful creatures to date. Almost everywhere you look, you’ll find one — or dozens — of the six-legged critters called insects. A wildly diverse bunch, the class Insecta includes ants, bees, flies, beetles and much more. They are crucial components of many ecosystems where they perform many important functions. They aerate the soil, pollinate blossoms, and control insect and plant pests. Many insects, especially beetles, are scavengers, feeding on dead animals and fallen trees, thereby recycling nutrients back into the soil. However, like all pests, insect populations can suddenly erupt, causing a nuisance for many people and, depending on which insect this is, the results can present dangers to humans too.
Average Life Cycle
The life cycles of insects vary but most hatch from eggs. Insect growth is constrained by the inelastic exoskeleton and development involves a series of moults. The immature stages can differ from the adults in structure, habit and habitat, and can include a passive pupal stage in those groups that undergo 4-stage metamorphosis. Insects that undergo 3-stage metamorphosis lack a pupal stage and adults develop through a series of nymphal stages. Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm (22–28 in). The most diverse insect groups appear to have coevolved with flowering plants
• The number of insect species is believed to be between six and ten million.
• Insect bodies have three parts, the thorax, abdomen and head.
• Insects have two antennae and three pairs of legs.
• Some insects, such as gerridae (water striders), are able to walk on the surface of water.
• A single honeybee colony can produce around 100kg of honey each year – that’s 220 jars!
• Mosquitoes are attracted to smelly feet!
• Pest insects in the UK include wasps, moths, flies, harlequin lady bird, silverfish, ants, spiders, beetles, mites, bed bugs, fleas to name a few. And from some of these there are sub species.
• Only female mosquitoes bite humans
• Most insects breath through holes on their sides, known as spiracles
- There are more than 200 million insects to every human on the planet
- Fruit flies were the first living creatures to be sent into space.
- One dung beetle can drag 1,141 times its weight – that’s like a human pulling six double-decker buses!
- Each year, insects eat one-third of the Earth’s food crop.
Depending on the insect that is invading your personal space will depend on the treatment required.
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