Earwigs are nocturnal insects that typically hide in moist cracks and crevasses during the day. They feed on many different insects and plants. They can damage foliage, flowers and even crop plants. Most earwigs are flattened in shape, something that the species has evolved to adapt to hiding in places that predators would find difficult to access. Male earwigs have curved pincers and females have straight pincers. These pincers are used to defend themselves, capture prey and help to fold their wings back under their protective coverings. They are capable of flight, yet rarely do so.
Silverfish are a nocturnal insect and widespread across much of the world. They have a very characteristic shape, with a tapering body shape and three long cerci, or matched appendages, on the end of their abdomens. They do have eyes, unlike other members of their scientific family, but are wingless. Silverfish are so named because of their coloration and signature wriggling body movement. Silverfish are one of the few types of insects that continue to moult after they have reached adulthood. Silverfish are prey to other insects as well, such as earwigs and spiders. They are one of the species of insect thought to be descended from some of the most primitive types of insects in the world.
Moths are related to the butterfly and of the order Leidoptera. There are over 100,000 species of moth, most of which are nocturnal. Moths are a major pest to farmers around the world, especially as caterpillars. Several species of moths are also destructive to articles of fabric and clothing within the home and are a significant source of damage to stored clothing, as evidenced by the large and successful moth ball repellants industry. There are moth species, however, such as the silkworm, that are farmed for their use to humans.
Crickets come in many sizes, but are all relatively the same grasshopper-like shape, though they are more closely related to katydids. Crickets are easily identified by their trademark chirping sounds which is produced by stridulatory organ, mostly in males. Crickets are common pests in the home, mainly the species known as Indian House Crickets and Camel Crickets. Crickets are omnivores and will eat pretty much anything, though they prefer a diet heavy in starches and moisture.
There are several types of mite species, both those that are strictly plant pests, those that feed pets and human and those that are classified as “dust mites.” Mites are one of the most diverse and successful of all insects and can be found in some capacity any where there are humans. They are even known to infest other insects, especially bees.
Scorpions are some of the oldest types of animals on the planet and belong to the same family as spiders. There are nearly 1,750 different species of scorpion, but only a small percent of that number are able to kill a human being with their venom. Scorpions vary in size and habitat, but most are shy creatures that will not seek to attack humans. They have thick exoskeletons and store a supply of fatty tissue under their hard exteriors to help them survive in both arid environments and those where food is scarce. All species of scorpion are known to fluoresce under black light, making them easy to spot, but startling to come upon by accident. Scorpions are also nocturnal.
Ticks are of the order Arcahnida and are characterized by being, by and large, parasitic. Ticks are external parasites, feeding most commonly on the blood of animal hosts. Ticks can carry several diseases that are harmful to humans such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. There are only three families of ticks, though only two of those families are commonly a threat to humans. Ticks can be found world-wide and it is hypothesized that they owe at least some of their distribution to their hosts.
Stinkbugs are part of a larger family of insects that also includes shield bugs. They are usually green or brown colored and shaped like a shield. They are named “stinkbugs” because of their characteristic odor when disturbed, which in some species contains cyanide. Stinkbugs are widely regarded as nuisance pests, far and above their detrimental effect on crops, based on their highly pungent scent, but are actually used in cooking in Laos because of it. Stinkbugs are a threat to a wide variety of agricultural crops.
Mealworms are the larval stage of the mealworm beetle. These mealworms are only larva for 3 to 30 to 115 days, depending on many different factors, including temperature and food sources. These mealworms are well known sources of food for many different types of animals, including those kept as pets such as lizards, birds and some species of snakes. Humans also consume mealworms in some areas of the world and they are beginning to gain a small foothold in the exotic snack market. They are valued for their high protein content and use as fishing bait.