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Insects are the largest class of the animal group (or phylum) called Arthropods. Other classes of arthropods are different from insects in number of legs and body parts, among other things, but people often call them "insects" or "bugs" in any case.
Arachnids include spiders, ticks, scorpions and mites. Sowbugs, millipedes and centipedes are also insect relatives. Worms and leeches are annelids.
Most insect relatives are beneficial when found outdoors. They feed on other insects and recycle decaying organic matter.
They might wander inside homes to look for shelter. It is not common to see them indoors and they are generally not harmful to people, food, clothes, furniture or other items within homes.
Proper identification is important to determine the best way to control and remove insect relatives. For most, pesticides are not necessary or recommended.
Don't know what insect you have?
What insect is this? will help you identify hundreds of common and uncommon pests found in Minnesota.