We all have bug problems. It doesn't matter who you are, where you live or how clean you think you are, you have a bug problem. Some problems may not be as big as others, but everyone has one.
It's OK, though. You don't need to feel bad about it. You shouldn't freak out about it or start becoming paranoid about it. However, the sooner you accept it and learn about it, the faster you'll be able to control it.
DISCLAIMER: This is not me, a pest control guy, trying to convince everyone who reads this that they have a severe problem and that they should immediately order our pest control service. Like I said, some problems aren't all that big and we all have varying degrees of tolerance.
But what I am here to do is shed some light on the difference between "bugs" and "insects". This is nothing official or too scientific, just an attempt to understand the differences between the little creatures we find in and around our homes.
Basically, bugs are annoying and have no place on your property or in your home. They can be dangerous, dirty or just straight annoying. Insects, on the other hand, are simply small creatures that go about their business. They are harmless, sometimes entertaining and even helpful.
So, bugs: bad. Insects: good. It's semantics, I know, but let's have fun with it. Let's start with the bad.
Crickets. If you think about it, crickets are the only bugs around the house that make noises loud enough to actually keep you up at night. Their chirping is just a notch down from fingernails on the chalkboard. Making matters even worse is when they are hidden inside the walls, making them untouchable. Banging that area of the wall might quiet them down for a minute, but it won' t remedy the problem. They serve no purpose on your property other than to make annoying chirping sounds with their legs. They're not dangerous, just super annoying.
Roaches. Known for being the garbage men of the bug world, roaches are filthy more than anything. They don't sting, bite or attack. But they do carry allergens that can affect those with sensitive noses. Contrary to popular belief, they don't invade your home because its "dirty". They actually don't care how dirty or clean your house is. The cleanest houses still offer what they need: shelter, food and water.
Spiders. There's nothing good about spiders. Even if they aren't dangerous, they're still bugs. If anything, they'll almost always leave a mess wherever they've been with their webs. Yes, they are known to eat other bugs on the property, but they are bugs themselves. Two wrongs don't make a right. Most spiders you find around your house are pretty harmless. Most of the will bite to defend themselves, but very few are poisonous enough to cause any real problems. There is nothing cute or cuddly about about them, so there's no need for them.
Scorpions. Definitely a bug. Definitely bad. Definitely dangerous. There is nothing useful or beneficial about having scorpions on your property. It doesn't matter who you are, they're stings are extremely painful and the discomfort will surely last at least a few days. Depending on who you are, the stings can be life threatening. That's no bueno.
Bees, wasps, hornets. These guys make up the 101st airborne division of the corps. They all sting and if you have allergies to their toxins, they can pose real complications. Their speed and mobility makes them intimidating. Like all good fighter squadrons, if you look carefully you can see embossed on their transparent wings "Terror of the Skies".
Zero tolerance. As mentioned, we all have differing levels of tolerance for whatever bug problem we may have. Some have no tolerance whatsoever, while others don't mind sharing their property with a few visitors. Of the hundreds of bugs or insects that are seeking room and board at your house, as a professional, the few commoners that I'm suggesting you have zero tolerance for are: scorpions, black widows and brown recluses. There are bugs, and then there are these guys. All of them are extremely toxic and all of them can cause long-term damage. Especially if you have small children living at home, we recommend immediate service to get rid of them as soon as you can. Scorpions, in particular, are expert survivors, and are best dealt with by professionals. (That's my only business plug. I promise.)
Now for our little friends that make our backyards like our very own animal jungle.
Grasshoppers. All these guys do is mind their own business. Sure, they're a little strange looking, but aren't we all? They're completely harmless and can be a little entertaining for kids to examine. In some cultures they are actually used within the diet as a viable source of protein, vitamins and minerals. In others, they are symbols of charm and good luck. Give 'em a break!
Lady bugs. Even in our culture lady bugs are seen as good luck. Especially if you get one to land on you that doesn't have black spots. Those are like super good luck, or so I'm told. When it lands on you the trick is to get it to hang with you as long as possible. The longer it lingers, the more good luck you'll have.
Butterflies. Could you honestly see yourself harming a butterfly? No, I didn't think so. That's practically inhumane. Kids love to see and chase them. They're typically really pretty and pose no inconvenience to you or your home. Let them do their thing. Grab a camera and see if you and your kids can't snap a few good shots of them for your child's art wall.
Mantises. The praying mantis is pretty mystical. Cultures of the Far East think very highly of our mantis friends, who actually boast over 2,400 verified species. Known for its prayer-like stance, the mantis inspired two forms of martial arts developed in China. In African cultures, the mantis is viewed as a god-like figure. In fact, "mantis" is Greek for "prophet". So, as you can see, the mantis builds a pretty strong case for its preservation. They are well-equipped to defend themselves when threatened, but don't pose any real danger to humans. They are certainly a rarity to see, and they don't infest locations like other bugs do, so you might as well enjoy it before it moves along its merry way.