What Kind of Bug is This? Tips for Insect Identification

CentipedeHave you noticed a bug creeping or flying around your house? Don’t know what type of insect you’re dealing with, let alone whether it’s a potentially dangerous one? If that’s the case, you’ll need some help in identifying the creature in question. In order to help you, we’ve compiled a list of useful tips that should get you started!

Where can bugs be found?

While crickets can be found in open fields, mosquitoes tend to stick to bodies of water. Paying attention to where an insect can be seen is of great help in identifying its species. It’s also a great way to start solving the mystery. So take out a piece of paper and start jotting down some basic notes. If you’ve seen bugs hiding in one of your closets, you can assume it appears in households and prefers dark places.

What time of day have you seen the bug?

Time of day is another important factor. Insects are categorized according to whether they’re nocturnal or active during the day. Seasons are just as important. Some species hibernate during the winter, which means that you can eliminate a lot of bugs just by typing keywords such as ‘winter’ and ‘summer’ into your browser. In short, try to remember when you’ve last seen the intruder and add this information to the list.

How many legs does the bug have?

In order to answer the following questions correctly, it might be best to take a picture of the bug. By doing this, you’ll be able to inspect it more closely. Counting legs is one of the most obvious ways to distinguish different types of insects. If you count eight, you’re dealing with a spider. And if there’s six or less, you’ll need to answer more questions in order to arrive at an answer.

Is it a winged bug?

Some insects have wings and some don’t. This is something we all know, but it’s usually of great help in determining the species of a particular bug. Another important thing you should watch out for is whether it can use them for flying. Not all winged insects can fly, and if yours is one of them, chances are you’ll see it hopping from place to place.

Does the bug have antennae or visible mouthparts?

If you have a picture of the insect, you’ll be able to get into a more detailed description. This should include looking at its head. Try to determine whether the bug has antennae or visible mouthparts. If you can see the former, take a look at their ends – are they pointed or knotted?

In order to complete the identification of your bug, simply type the answers to these questions – in the form of keywords – into your browser. Look for pictures, and once you’ve found your intruder among them, you’ll have no trouble learning what it’s called.

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