It is estimated 10 quintillion insects are alive on Earth. Additionally, there are an estimated 1 million species of insect worldwide (Wicked Bugs).

Bugs — Where does the term come from? Who came up with that word? What is the history of insects? People take for granted words. Many people don’t know, but the words we use have a history. The words we use come from places and people.

In this article we will discover where the word insects come from.

Here are five things you probably don’t know about the terms we use for insects.

The word insect was created in the 1600s. The word comes from two words: insectum and secare. Insectum means notched and divided. This word is because insects have a body which separates into different parts. First, the head is where the eyes, mouth, antennas, and brain sit. The thorax sits beneath the head.  Six legs and two wings sprout from the thorax.  Lastly, the abdomen is usually of 7-10 visible segments without true jointed legs.


The technical definition of bugs is an insect with sucking and piercing parts. Aphids are an example of a true bug (Wicked Bugs).

In general, bug refers to basically any insect. It appears the term came from specific insects like flea, mite, midge. It also appears to come from the Scottish term for goblin and bugbear. This term is aligned with creepy-crawly, beastie.

The term bug is given in a secondary sense to insects considered as an object of disgust and horror, and in modern English is appropriated to the noisome inhabitants of our beds, but in America is used as the general appellation of the beetle tribe. A similar application of the word signifying an object dread to creeping things is very common.


Arachnid comes from the French word for spider. Spider is from an old English word for spinner. Spider silk was regarded as thread and the web was seen as a spinning a web from silk.

Arachnids have eight legs. Arachnids include scorpions in addition to spiders. Ants are not arachnids because they have six legs instead of eight.

Who Do I Call with a Bug Problem?

If you find that your home is being over run with the creepy crawlies, call Infinite Pest. Our professional and expert technicians can help you keep your home free of these wicked bugs.

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