The majority of insects have wings in their adult stage and move around mainly by flying. However insects like cockroaches, have wings but are reluctant flyers and mainly use crawling as a form of transportation. Termites and ants are flyers, but only for a brief time in their reproductive stages during their breeding season. The flying insects described on this page reflect those referred to as pests.
Most insects go through a life cycle that consist four stages: egg, larva (eg caterpillar, maggot — which can be crawling insect pests), pupa (often sealed in a cocoon) and adult, which usually has wings.
Insects have an exoskeleton with a three-part body, consisting of a head, a thorax with six legs, and an abdomen.
Flying insects come equipped with either one to two sets of wings which are attached to their thorax.
Flying insects can be unwelcome in the human environment for a number of reasons:
bites and stings cause pain and swelling;
bites can transmit a large number of serious bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases to humans and domestic animals;
allergens produced by infestations in the home and other buildings can cause asthma;
contamination of food, water and surfaces by mechanical transmission of diseases;
feeding on, spoiling and contaminating food products in storage;
feeding on and damaging fabric products such as clothing and furniture;
damage to wooden structures and products.