Bug, a name often given to any kind of insect but that properly belongs only to insects of the order Hemiptera. True bugs include water bugs (such as the electric-light bug), stinkbugs, and the bedbug, chinch bug, and squash bug. Such insects as the potato bug, June bug, tumblebug, and ladybug are not bugs, as their names suggest, but beetles.

StinkbugsStinkbugs feed on plants and other insects.

True bugs usually have a more or less flattened form. They have tubular mouthparts adapted to piercing and sucking. A bug may be winged or wingless. The bedbug, for example, has no wings. Most bugs undergo an incomplete metamorphosis; they do not pass through a pupal, or nonfeeding, stage. The eggs hatch into young that develop gradually into adults. The young (or nymphs) are generally similar to the adults except in size.

In winged species the four wings overlap to form an X on the back. The forewings are thick at the base and membranous at the tip. The hind wings usually are membranous. The antennae (feelers) in most species are fairly long.

Most bugs feed upon plant juices, but a few are parasitic upon animals. Many species of bugs cause great damage to plants and crops, while others are beneficial in that they prey upon injurious insects.

Where in the World Do True Bugs Live?

True bugs live all over the world. They are found everywhere, from hot jungles to cold polar regions. True bugs live in fields, gardens, orchards, woods, ponds, and streams.

Stink bugs make up a common family of true bugs. Like other true bugs, they make their homes in all climates around the world. Most species of stink bugs live in warm, tropical areas. But stink bugs live in colder places, too. Some species of stink bugs, for example, live in the cold northern regions of North America.

In spring and summer, you can find stink bugs on trees, bushes, grasses, weeds, flowers, and fruits.