Facts about Insects for Kids, Adults TOO!
There are over 1 million insect species around the world. Many are common and often found around most homes. Ants, cockroaches, grasshoppers, termites and butterflies are all classified as ‘insects.’ Surprising, spiders, scorpions and mites are not considered insects, but instead classified as arachnids.
There is very little doubt that some insects are common household pests that often require management. Ants, cockroaches, termites and stink beetles are just a few that cause most homeowners to call in a pest management control team. Teaching children about pests is a great starting point to educating a child about insects.
The field of insect study is known as entomology. Learning about and classifying insects that are commonly encountered around the home can be a fun activity for children or the whole family. Getting to know what insects are considered pests and which ones are beneficial is invaluable knowledge that a child will take throughout life. It might even spur a lifelong interest in the field of entomology. There are numerous places that a parent can turn to as an education resource about common pests and insects in Maryland such as the internet, the local library or the University of Maryland’s Department of Entomology.
Here are just a few facts that most children will enjoy:
- All insects are comprised of three body parts: the head, the abdomen and the thorax. They have three pairs of individual legs and two antennae.
- Insects use their antennae to sense touch, taste, smell and hear.
- Instead of bones, an insect possesses a tough outer shell that protects its body.
You can kickstart your child’s love for insects by helping them create a logbook. With a simple pad of paper and box of colored pencils, your child can start classifying the insects they see on a daily basis by drawing pictures. You can then help them look up the insects they’ve encountered from books at the public library or on the internet. The Entomological Society of America is a great starting point for looking up insect names (both common and scientific) and descriptions. You can then read up on their different habits and life cycles together. The log book could even might become a fun family keepsake that not only spurs a lifelong interest but holds great memories.
One of our favorite sites for is Pest World for Kids. There are games, videos, ebooks and crafts that are fun for kids to learn more about insects. Junior entomologists can use the site without pop-up advertising and parents can feel safe knowing your child is learning without distraction from third-party advertisers.
Have a questions about an insect or pest. Snap a pic and send it to Erich.