P E ST M A N AG E M E N T
Insects and Their Relatives
A. Classification of Insects and
B. Hexapoda or Insecta
II. Characteristics of Insects
A. Body Regions
C. Mouth Parts
III. Characteristics of Insect Relatives
IV. Insect Anatomy
A. External Anatomy
1. The Exoskeleton
2. The Head
3. The Thorax
6. The Abdomen
Insect Growth and Development
A. Incomplete Metamorphosis
B. Complete Metamorphosis
C. Insect Growth
VI. Insect Pests
VII. Controlling Pests
A. Integrated Pest Management
B. Injury Levels
C. Control Decision Making
D. Control Methods
VIII. Honey Bees and Other
A. Importance of Insect
C. Protecting Pollinators from
IX. Important Insects Pests in
A. Flower Pests
B. Fruit Pests
C. Household Pests
1. Indoor Pests
2. Invaders (Insect)
3. Invaders (Non-Insect)
4. Structural Pests
5. Sting and Biting Insects
D. Houseplant Pests
E. Turfgrass Pests
F. Vegetable Pests
G. Woody Ornamental Pests
Insects and Their Relatives
Insects and their relatives have been coexisting with man for thousands of years.
Although many people may consider insects as undesirable pests, of the approximately 850,000 identified species (with an estimated one million different species in existence) it is generally agreed that “only” a small number (approximately 10,000) of these species are actually destructive. The remaining
species may he broadly grouped as either beneficial or harmless insects.
Before developing strategies for insect pest management, it is important to
study the insect world and the often delicate and fragile relationship that exists
between insect species, other animals, plants and people.
Throughout history, serious problems have occurred due to insect pests. They
have been known to cause devastating crop losses and transmit disease to crops,
animals and humans.
The Classification of Insects and their Relatives
Insects are members of the vast and diverse animal kingdom. The animal kingdom is organized into groups based on similar structural features. The first classification is called the Phylum. There are ten common phyla in the animal kingdom and members of each of these phyla exhibit similar features.
Each phylum is further divided into the sub-groups: CLASS, ORDER, FAMILY,
GENUS, AND SPECIES based upon similarities. Insects and “insect relatives”
belong to the phylum ARTHROPODA—literally meaning “jointed foot.” All arthropod members have the following characteristics:
• A segmented body
• Paired segmented appendages
• An exoskeleton that is periodically shed (“molted”) and renewed (humans
have an endoskeleton)
• An open circulatory system (blood is not in vessels but sloshes through the
• A ventral nervous system (humans have a dorsal nervous system)
• Respiration by gills or a system of tubes (trachae) (blood usually does not
• Separate sexes
Arthropods are further divided into five major CLASSES: Arachnida, Chilopoda,
Crustacea, Diplopoda, and Hexapoda (Insecta). The Hexapoda class is the largF-2
est of these classes and includes 7/8ths of all arthropod members. True insects
are members of the Hexapoda (Insecta) class.
Hexapoda or Insecta • This class includes true bugs, butterflies, bees, beetles,
flies, fleas, scales, termites, ants, etc.
Thousands of insects exist and they are further organized into groups with similar characteristics such as mouthparts, wing structure, and metamorphosis.
Depending upon classification, 26 to 30 different orders are recognized.
Characteristics of Insects (Figure F-1)
Three body regions (head, thorax, abdomen)
One pair of antennae
Chewing or piercing-sucking mouth parts
Thorax usually with two pair of wings (sometimes only one or none)
Thorax usually with 3 pair of legs (sometimes none)
Characteristics of Insect Relatives (Figure F-2)
Spiders, Mites and Ticks (Arachnida)
Have two body regions(cephalothorax, abdomen)
Have four pairs of legs
Spiders have eight simple eyes
Ticks are large mites
Two body regions
Elongate or “wormlike”
Rounded in cross section
Two pairs of legs per body segment
Figure F-1. Various insects demonstrating characteristic body parts.
• Resemble millipedes
• Flattened in cross section
• One pair of legs per body segment
Crustaceans—Lobsters, Crayfish, Barnacles, Sowbugs (Crustacea)
Two body regions
Mostly aquatic species, except for the sowbugs
One pair of compound eyes
Two pairs of antennae
Five–seven pairs of legs
All insects have three body regions: head, thorax, and abdomen (see Figure F-3). The
head contains the mouth
parts, antennae, and eyes. The
thorax is where the legs and
wings are attached, and the
abdomen contains reproductive and sensory structures.
Figure F-3. Body Regions
Figure F-2. Insect Relatives
The Exoskeleton • The exoskeleton has three major functions. The first is for
protection and support; it protects the insect’s internal muscles and organs
from many outside influences such as disease organisms, natural predators
and parasites, dessication, pesticide penetration, etc. Secondly, the exoskeleton acts as a receptor of various stimuli and aids in communication between
the outside world and inside the insect. For example, some epidermal cells may
be modified to recognize heat and humidity changes, or changes in wind direction. Also, the exoskeleton is directly involved with insect movement. The
muscles are attached to this outer body wall.
The insect body is segmented which allows for flexibility. These segments
are fused together to form three body parts: head, thorax and abdomen.
Figure F-4. The Head
The Head • The major parts associated with the head are the antennae, eyes,
and mouthparts. The head position is dependent upon its mouthparts and the
type of food that it eats.
The mouthparts may project forward, downward or backward.
The antennae are located between or just below the eyes and act as sensory
structures. Using their antennae, insects can detect a wide range of environmental conditions, such as chemical cues, changes in humidity, the surface
they are walking upon, and vibrations.
Antennae may be very conspicuous and their structure can differ greatly
between insect species. Antennae can be helpful for taxonomic (identification)
purposes. See Figure F-5.
Compound eyes are the major sight organs. Most adult and many young
insects have compound eyes. Each compound eye is made up of individual
receptor units. Each individual receptor unit can perceive shape, movement