We all know that there is a difference between spiders and insects, and both spiders and insects belong to a group of animals referred to as arthropods. But what about the word “bug”? Most people assume that the word “bug” is simply a nickname given to both spiders and insects. Well, if this is what you thought, then you were wrong. Actually, all bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs. Bugs are defined by their mouth-parts that are capable of sucking juices from plants. Whereas, insects that do not possess these mouth-parts are not bugs. Just remember that only bugs have mouth-parts that can pierce and suck.


There are lesser known, but equally important features that make a bug a “bug”. For example, genuine bugs will develop differently than non-bug insects. True bugs will go through what is called an “incomplete metamorphosis”. However, non-bug insects will develop through a complete four-stage metamorphosis. The incomplete metamorphosis starts when a nymph hatches from an egg. The egg is basically a small version of an adult, and it is only a matter of time before the egg reaches adulthood. The four-stage metamorphosis begins with an egg. The egg develops into larva, then the larva develops into pupa and adulthood is next.


As you may be able to guess, it is the “true bugs” that cause gardeners and farmers the most grief. This is because true bugs have the mouth-parts necessary to drain vital fluids from various forms of plant life. One of the more popular true bugs is the assassin bug. Not only does the assassin bug kill plants by sucking out their juices, but assassin bugs will even suck the inner fluids out of other insects. The assassin bug can use its mouth-parts to bite you as well, but don’t worry as these bugs are not venomous, but the pain they cause can be intolerable.


Have you ever sustained a bite from a bug while working at a farm or in a garden? If you have, do you know which type of bug bit you?


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