What Do Insects Eat? Food List And Fun Facts For Curious Kids

Martha Martins
Oct 16, 2023 By Martha Martins
Originally Published on Nov 11, 2021
Cluster fly on a leaf.

Insects are of different forms and sizes and are found all over the world except Antarctica.

The insect world includes more than 10 million species and until today we have discovered less than half of them. The smallest known insects are fairyflies and the largest known insects are titan beetles.

The insect body is divided into three parts namely the head, thorax, and abdomen. A lot of insects also have antennae on their head with which they sense their surroundings.

Insects have multiple legs and they don't have blood in their body. Some insects have six legs while some have eight legs and some also have numerous legs, one such insect is the centipede. Insects are found on land, air, and water.

In this article, we shall discuss what insects eat. Insects eat almost everything from plants to other animals. There are all sorts of insects present from herbivores to carnivores and omnivores.

There are insects who eat a lot and again there are insects who don't eat that much. There are also insects who eat plants at one stage of their lives and then start eating meat at another stage of their lives. Read the whole article to learn more details!

And if you like reading such fun facts then you will also like what do frogs eat, and what do pigs eat.

How do insects eat?

We see lots of common insects like ants, flies, spiders, bees, butterflies, cockroaches, and grasshoppers. But do you know how many insect species are there in the world?

According to scientists, there are around 6-10 million species of insects present in the world. Out of which, only around 1 million species have been properly identified. Insect species are of different types who live in different areas and eat different foods.

The insect world is huge and includes different types of bugs. A lot of people get confused between the words 'insect' and 'bug'.

Well, bugs are insects only but the word 'bug' means a certain type of insect. There are many insects in the world that are found everywhere like ants, bees, and flies. Insects are of different types who follow different diets.

Some insects are herbivorous while some are carnivorous and even some are omnivorous as well. Herbivorous insects eat grass, roots, flowers, leaves, stems, nectar, pollen, and seeds. Some common herbivorous insects are bees, aphids, butterflies, caterpillars, and grasshoppers.

Carnivore insects simply feed on smaller insects. There are insects like crickets and earwigs who are omnivorous in nature.

What do insects eat in the forest?

Forests are actually home to a wide range of insects. In forests, one can see many insects that are not really seen around humans.

A lot of insects like moths, mosquitoes, spiders, different species of ants, and lots of other nameless insects can also be spotted in forests. Forests have a fresh and abundant food supply for insects of all types.

For plant-eating insects, there are lots of fruit, vegetables, leaves, and crops are available. For carnivorous insects like spiders, there are a lot of small insects available that they can trap in their web and prey on.

Insects like mosquitoes find lots of animals in forests from whom they can suck the blood out. In short, in forests or wooded areas, there is an endless source of food for all insects and related species. There are many animals or creatures present in forests that make bugs their meal.

Animals, mostly birds, eat insects to gain the nutrients that they need. For example, bugs like moths, ants, bees, termites, and larvae are common prey for birds.

What do insects eat in the desert?

Insects have a short lifespan and they spend most of their time either eating or reproducing. Insects survive only some weeks or sometimes a month but they cannot survive more than that.

The insect world is very diverse as there are insects of different forms and sizes. From the smallest of ants to the biggest of beetles, one can see lots of insects species every day.

There are lots of insects found in sandy desert areas also. The desert environment is a bit different than forests as there are not many trees or shade available.

The weather condition is also harsh in deserts and for that reason, not all insects can survive there, but those who can have designed their own diet. There are lots of insects found in deserts also.

Some are like beetles, tarantulas, desert locusts, skimmers, and many more. In deserts, there are fewer crops but still, insects manage, and other than that, many adult insects in deserts are carnivorous and eat flesh and eggs of other insects.

For living in the desert, a lot of adaptations in their bodies have also been made over time.

Because the desert environment is dry, in order to live there, their bodies develop tough cuticles to stop transpiration. Transpiration is the process through which animals or plants lose water from the body through the skin.

The presence of tough cuticles could stop this unnecessary loss of water and also make their body tough. The cuticle or the exoskeleton also provides durability to insects living in deserts.

What do insects eat in the rainforest?

There are lots of insects or bugs present in this world who feed on different kinds of food. Some bugs feed on nectar, some feed on plants, some are predators who feed on other insects while some feed on the blood of humans.

Rainforests give shelter to some exotic species of insects that stay away from humans and are only found there.

Insects that live in rainforests are wild and dangerous in nature and a lot of those adult insects bear venom also. Wild species of ants, big and poisonous spiders, termites, beetles, and lots of other insects are commonly seen in rainforests.

Again in rainforests, there is no scarcity of food. From insect groups that keep eating plants to insects that prey on other insects, all have abundant food available.

Insects are both beneficial and destructive in nature. In our daily life, we see multiple insects that are good for the environment, like bees and butterflies who help in pollination.

Bees create honey that is also beneficial for us. On the other hand, there are bad insects also who cause nothing but destruction, and they are known as pests. Termites destroy furniture that is made of wood.

Some insects spread diseases too. Mosquitoes are experts in sucking blood from our bodies, and while sucking blood, they may also infect us with diseases like malaria and dengue fever. Houseflies contaminate our food which causes diarrhea and dysentery.

Just like that, there are more pests available that are meant to be controlled. By keeping your house and its nearby area clean, you can surely control their growth.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what do insects eat, then why not take a look at what do lizards eat, or house centipede facts.

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Written by Martha Martins

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha Martins picture

Martha MartinsBachelor of Arts specializing in Linguistics

Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.

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