CALL 833-578-0910 FOR PEST HELP (24/7)

Fun Facts About Bugs

Bug & Insect Guide for Kids!

Welcome to our resource page for educational material about bugs, insects, critters and anything else that flys or crawls around the house. When properly introduced, insects can be a great way to spark your students’ interest in science. Discovering the ecological importance, and the interdependent relationship between insects and humans. You may not welcome insects into your home, but life as we know it wouldn’t exist without them!

In This Guide:


Insect List

Below is a list of common favorites for kids including brief facts and illustration.

Monarch Caterpillar/Butterfly

Identification

click to enlarge

  • Caterpillar: Up to 2-3/4 inches long; black with white and yellow bands.
  • Butterfly: Wingspan 3-1/2 to four inches long; wings brownish orange; black to dark brown veins; two rows of orange and/or white spots.

Habitat
Found primarily in meadows, roadsides and sandy areas where milkweeds grow.
Food
Caterpillars feed on milkweed foliage, flower buds and milky juice; butterflies feed on flowers.
Life Cycle
Females lay eggs along migration northward; fully grown caterpillar changes to barrel-shaped, leaf-green pupa with gold dots; process from egg to butterfly takes about four weeks.
Did you Know?
They can travel over 2,000 miles during migrations each fall, often stopping in same rest spots every year.


House Fly

Identification

house fly picture
click to enlarge

About 1/4 inch long; light gray with four lengthwise stripes on thorax; large reddish compound eyes.

Habitat
May migrate up to 20 miles from birthplace, but most stay within one or two miles; 98% of flies caught in houses are house flies.

Food
Feed on a wide variety of foods, but prefer liquids containing sweet or decaying material; larvae feed on moist food rich in organic matter.

Life Cycle
Eggs laid singly, but in clusters of 75-150; female may lay over 500 eggs in a lifetime; eggs hatch in 10-24 hours; entire life cycle completed in less than seven days.

Did you Know?
Associated with a number of filth-related diseases.

Read more house fly facts.


FireFly

Identification

firefly
Judy Gallagher, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

1/2 inch long; blackish-brown with dull edges on sides and down middle; above head is rosy pink covering with dull yellow edges and black spot in center.

Habitat
Nocturnal; live in moist places under debris, bark or decaying matter on the ground; on summer nights, blink their yellow lights to attract mates.

Food
Adults do not feed; larvae feed on insect larvae, slugs and snails.

Life Cycle
Eggs are left on damp soil; larvae overwinter, then pupate in moist soil.

Did you Know?
The Female cannot not fly.

Read more facts about fireflies.


Carpenter Bee

Identification

carpenter bee
click to enlarge

Large, about one inch, resemble bumblebees; some species may have a blue-black, green or purple metallic sheen; no hair on abdomen.

Habitat
Often burrow into the exposed, unfinished dry wood of buildings, telephone poles, fence posts and bridges; prefer softer woods for nesting; not social insects, although individuals may establish burrows close to each other.

Food
Pollen and nectar.

Life Cycle
Complete one generation per year in most of the U.S.; mature from egg to adult in 84 to 99 days; female furnishes nest with “bee bread,” a mixture of pollen and regurgitated nectar, and lays an egg on top of it.

Did You Know?
Males do not sting, but females have a potent sting which they rarely use; make loud buzzing noise when flying.

Image Attribution: https://pixabay.com/users/deedster-2541644/

More Facts About Carpenter Bees.


Wasps

Identification

wasp image for kids
click to enlarge

Variety of shapes and colors; can be distinguished from bees by their smooth, rather than hairy, bodies; 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch long.

Habitat
Exhibit predatory and scavenging behavior; some species are solitary, while others live in colonies which may number thousands of individuals.

Food
Primarily protein such as spiders and soft-bodied insects, and small animals.

Life Cycle
Social wasps begin a nest with one queen laying all eggs for colony; if a queen dies, a worker can take over egg-laying function until colony produces new queen.

Did You Know?
Very protective of their nests; will defend against invaders with painful stings.

Image Attribution: https://pixabay.com/images/id-564609/


Mosquitoes

Identification

mosquito facts for kids
click to enlarge

About 1/8 to 1/4 inch long; brown to dark brown with light stripe down center; wings have dark brown scales.

Habitat
Often found near shallow temporary pools; larvae live in quiet bodies of water, ranging from fluid-filled leaves to stagnant ponds and lakes.

Food
Males drink plant juices; females feed on blood of mammals, including humans.
Life Cycle
Eggs are dropped in temporary pools; larvae feed, pupate and emerge over an extended period.

Did You Know?
Population increases after summer rains; males do not bite.

Image Attribution: https://pixabay.com/users/wikiimages-1897/


Violet Dragonfly

Identification

dragonfly pic for kids
click to enlarge

About 1-1/4 inches long; male has violet abdomen and black head and thorax; female is dark brown to black; clear wings.

Habitat
Found along slow streams, shallow weedy lakes or coves of large rivers; alight on grasses and plant stems.

Food
Feed on small, soft-bodied insects.

Life Cycle
Females dip abdomen into water to lay eggs on underwater leaf; when eggs are deposited, male lifts female from the water. Actual Size

Did You Know?
Often seen flying in tandem over streams and ponds.

Image Attribution: https://pixabay.com/users/erik_karits-15012370/


Carpenter Ant

Identification

carpenter-ant-thumbnail
click to enlarge

Among the largest ants, from 1/4 to 3/8 inch long; most common species is black, but some have red- dish or yellowish coloration; workers have large mandibles.

Habitat
Normally nest in dead or water-damaged portions of standing trees, stumps or logs, or burrow under fallen logs or stones; nests look like hollow “galleries” in wood; may move into buildings in search of food; foraging ants will travel up to 100 yards from nest to look for food.

Food
Do not eat wood; feed on a variety of both plant and animal food; prefer sweets and meats; also feed on other insects.

Life Cycle
Queen lays 15 to 20 eggs the first year, and up to 30 eggs the second year; eggs complete their life cycle in about 60 days; worker ants can live up to seven years, while a queen may live up to 25 years.

Did You Know?
Hollow “galleries” in nests are so smooth, they appear to be sandpapered; colonies can contain up to 3,000 workers, but usually have only one

More Information on Insects