19 Types of Insects in New York

Types of Insects in New York
Photo by Juliana Malta

Are you living in New York and trying to identify some insects that have become a nuisance in your home and surroundings? If yes, you’re at the right place.

Although not all insects are pests, some benefit our environment and do not endanger human health. This article covers the different types of insects in New York.

There are over 1,000 species of insects found in New York. Some of these insects will certainly send shivers down your spine.

But some are such a lovely sight, like the butterflies – New York hosts over 150 species of rare and vibrant butterflies.

Let’s discuss the different types of insects you can find in New York.

Different Types of Insects in New York

1. Beetle

Black Blister Beetle - Types of Beetles in Massachusetts
by muffinn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Beetles are the most common type of insect you can find everywhere. Even a quick glance at a tree may show some beetle feasting on a plant or just relaxing on it.

Beetles can have long, cylindrical, round, half-round, or flat bodies with chewing mouthparts. They’re brilliantly colored and can come in shades of black or brown.

These insects have large, well-developed eyes, and their antennas mostly have 11 segments. They can use their legs to run, jump, swim, dig, and grasp.

Even though you can find beetles in every ecosystem, they’re not found living in the sea or polar areas.

They have a significant impact on the ecology in three ways:

  • They feed on plants and fungi.
  • They break down animal and plant waste.
  • They consume other invertebrates.

Coleopterology is the study of beetles, and coleopterists are those who specialize in the field. The practice of amateur and professional collectors gathering wild-caught species is a thriving sector.

2. Termites

Eastern Subterranean Termites
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Termites share similar ancestors with those of cockroaches and are part of the epifamily Termitoidae.

There are over 3,000 species of termites, and they are among the types of insects in New York. Like ants and bees, they operate on a system of division of labor.

In addition to sterile workers and troops, they also have fertile Kings and Queens. They eat cellulose as well as dead plant matter such as soil, wood, and animal feces.

Furthermore, They are primarily found in tropical and subtropical areas and help in the recycling of plant and wood materials.

Termites are a major pest that can ruin home furnishings, books, and paperwork.

3. Fleas


Fleas have over 2,500 species that live as external parasites on birds and mammals. They live off the blood or hematophagy of their hosts.

These insects usually have brown bodies that are slender or flat. They have strong claws that they use to cling to the host’s skin.

Their hind legs are used for jumping, and they have mouthparts for sucking blood and piercing the skin.

In addition, fleas don’t have wings but strong legs that allow them to jump long distances. They move around by jumping from one animal or person to another.

Also, their strong bodies make them nearly impossible to crush, which allows them to thrive in hidden places undetected.

If your pet brings fleas into your home, you may have a flea infestation. Because fleas are small and can hide in furniture, you may not be aware of their presence until there’s a major infestation.

4. German Cockroach

German Cockroach
by Sarah Camp is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Cockroaches are brownish insects that you normally find in the kitchen. However, if your infestation is severe enough, you may find them in your bed.

They feed on various things, such as water, food, and decaying matter.

These insects are flat and oval with pairs of antennae. They range in size from half an inch to ⅝ of an inch long. You can easily distinguish them by two dark stripes down their back.

Moreover, you can find roaches wandering around most buildings, which is why they’re on this list of New York insects. Cockroaches can cause asthma attacks and other respiratory illnesses.

If you find cockroaches in your house, it’s important to do a thorough cleaning.

There are steps you can take to reduce the number of these insects in your home, such as keeping all sinks dry, filling up cracks and holes, and running water down the drains.

5. House Centipede

House Centipede
by The NYSIPM Image Gallery is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The house centipede is also among the different types of insects in New York. These insects have 15 pairs of legs. They go through six larval molts and four adult molts before reaching maturity.

Also, they often hide throughout the day and come out to hunt for prey at night. These centipedes assist in eliminating annoying pests like cockroaches and moths.

Even though they normally stay in the damp areas underneath your home, don’t be surprised to see them crawling out of your bathroom drain. Eish!

6. Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly
by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive Asian insect that mostly feeds on the tree of paradise but can also feed on the grapevine, hops, maple, walnut, fruit trees, and other plants.

This insect could influence New York’s forests, as well as the agricultural and tourism economies.

In addition, spotted lanternflies can jump and fly short distances, spreading primarily through human activities.

They lay their eggs on cars, firewood, outdoor furniture, stone, and other items mistakenly transferred to other regions, causing the insect to spread.

7. Bed Bugs

by Mick E. Talbot is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Bed bugs are notorious parasites that live in people’s bedrooms. These insects are one of the worst home-invading insects because they bite, are filthy, and disturb our sleep.

They’re difficult to remove and can render your home unlivable because who wants to get attacked while sleeping?

In addition, bedbugs are nocturnal parasites that feed on human blood. Their bite causes various health issues, including psychological problems, allergic reactions, and skin rashes.

The area of skin they bite develops blisters and symptoms, which may take many days to show. Some people may experience fatigue or fever as well as itchiness.

While they do not spread contagious diseases, they can be quite annoying.

Furthermore, they reproduce in densely populated places, and infestations usually occur due to poor hygiene.

These insects are also extremely difficult to eliminate and can survive a year without food.

To get rid of the bugs, homeowners may need to turn up the heat, wash their garments at high degrees, use pesticides, and vacuum frequently.

8. Bumblebee

Bumblebees - Types of Bees in Idaho
by Rolf Dietrich Brecher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Bumblebees are also among the different types of insects in New York. They’re one of the earth’s most common bee species and a valuable pollinator.

Their body is softer and rounder than that of a honeybee. 

Unlike many other stinging insects, the bumblebee’s head and abdomen are not clearly distinguished, giving it an even rounder appearance.

In addition, these furry-looking insects have black, white, and orange-yellow stripes. 

At first glance, they appear to have only one set of wings, but they have a pair of front wings and a little pair of back wings linked to the front ones.

Unlike honeybees, bumblebees allow their legs to hang down when they fly.

Bumblebees don’t live in hives; instead, they live in nests with a few hundred other colony members. You can find these nests in compost, leaf piles, or underground burrows.

Bumblebees are not among the more aggressive stinging insects and won’t sting unless provoked. They also produce honey but eat it all by themselves.

9. Honeybees

by cygnus921 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The honeybee is one of the most popular bee species on earth, yet there has recently been a significant decrease in the population.

These bees are among the most important pollinators on our planet. Their pollination helps the United States produce $20 billion worth of crops each year!

You can easily distinguish a honeybee’s head and abdomen from its thin, bullet-shaped body. In addition, the set of front and back wings is visible.

Their bodies have black stripes and can be various shades of amber or orange. Unlike bumblebees, honeybees tuck their legs in when they are flying.

Honeybees aren’t aggressive and will only sting if provoked. You will always find these insects collecting pollen or nectar from flowers, which they use to make honey that people can consume.

Furthermore, Honeybee colonies can have thousands of members. These colonies are usually found in hollow trees when beekeepers do not control them.

These bees occasionally occupy an artificial birdhouse or a building’s hollow space.

10. Butterflies

Types of Butterflies in Alaska
Photo by santanu misra on Unsplash

Butterflies are members of the Lepidoptera order, which also includes moths. They have large, brilliantly colored wings and a fluttering flight.

These insects have reportedly been present on Earth for nearly 56 million years. They reproduce by laying eggs and have a typical four-stage life cycle.

Although they are found in tropical areas, several species may survive in cold climates. They are polymorphic organisms; therefore, different species have various colors and patterns.

Also, these insects use this to avoid predators by camouflage and mimicry. They’re among the different types of insects in New York.

11. American Idia Moth

American Idia Moth
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

American Idia moths come in both dark and light types. The light ones may be beige or pale gray near the head and thorax with darker stripe lines across their wings.

Dark versions are dark brown with white scalloped lines. 

In addition, every individual has a warm brown or bronze patch close to the edge of each forewing.

The larger brown patches have an ivory or white crescent on top of them. Segments of a medium brown band can be seen along the base of the wings.

Furthermore, the American Idia is a type of litter moth. You can spot them at night when they are eating lichens that are stuck to tree trunks from spring through autumn.

12. Ants

Types of Ants in California
Photo by Thomas Kinto on Unsplash

Ants are members of the Formicidae family. There are over 12,000 species of ants, and they have been around for over 100 million years. They have a node-like structure, narrow waist, and elbowed antennae.

Also, they had large-structured colonies and formed territories with millions of individuals, including soldiers, workers, and other specialized groups. However, some species live in smaller natural cavities.

Most ant colonies consist of one or more queen ants, who are fertile females, and drone ants, who are fertile males. They both cooperate to maintain the colony.

They have a system of division of labor, capable of solving difficult problems and communicating with each other. Ants are widespread and thrive in most ecosystems.

13. Robberflies

by Rolf Dietrich Brecher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Robberflies are among the different types of insects in New York. They have elongated bodies with the slender and tapering abdomen.

Although they’re black, brown, or gray, some species resemble bumblebees. They’re common in open sunny fields and semi-arid regions.

These creepy, crawly creatures are terrifying. Robberflies are quick and noisy, so you’ll hear them coming long before you see them. This pest has a pretty large appetite and eats almost any bug that flies.

14. Saddleback Caterpillar

Saddleback Caterpillar
by Wildreturn is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Saddle caterpillar belongs to the family of the Slug Caterpillar Moth. It has suckers underneath its legs in place of legs.

This enables it to defy gravity and walk along the underside of leaves and branches while feeding.

This species consumes a wide variety of grasses, trees, and shrubs. However, their hairs can sting when you touch them.

What happens if you come in contact with these creepy creatures? You’ll be the victim of a painful rash. Yikes!

15. Silverfish

by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Silverfish are among the types of insects in New York. These insects have a shiny silver color with scales and antenna.

They do not have wings but have a soft body and delicate scales that give them the appearance of a fish.

In addition, they have a flat and oval-shaped body. Adults measure 34 inches long, have two antennas, and have three tail projections.

Silverfish like dark places. They avoid direct sunlight by hiding through the day. Also, if you move an item they’re hiding under, they will run out and find another hiding place. 

They grow in dark, damp, and cool places, and you’ll likely find them in sinks, basements, bathtubs, bookcases, shelves, windows, and behind door frames.

These insects can survive a long time without food – sometimes up to a year. However, they require high humidity to survive and are sensitive to moisture.

16. Wheel Bug

Wheel Bug
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The wheel bug is a true bug with a stout beak that it uses to feed. It’s one of the assassin bugs and feeds on a moth, caterpillars, and other soft-bodied insects.

They use their front legs to hold their victims and insert their beaks to drain their body fluids.

This is yet another bug we hope you never encounter. They are known to stab their victims with their terrifying fangs, and they also have a painful bites.

What should you do when you see them? Run!

17. Bird Mites

Bird mites are parasitic insects that live in birds’ nests and feed on their blood. They can get into apartments if birds nest near or in your windows.

This usually occurs when fledgling birds leave the nest, leaving the bird mites hungry.

They migrate in more significant numbers at this time to locate a new host. That’s when they can fit through small gaps like your window and start biting humans.

If you notice strange bite-like marks, inspect your AC unit and the roof of your building just above your windows.

18. Spider Beetle

Spider Beetles
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Spider beetles are small, red creatures and are among the types of insects in New York. You can find these insects all over New York apartments, but they’re usually mistaken for bedbugs.

Remember that these insects are general scavengers, and you can find them in areas where they shouldn’t be. So don’t be surprised when you find one crawling into your bed. 

Spider beetles eat a wide variety of foods, including rodent droppings, almonds, beans, and even human leftovers!

These annoying insects are general scavengers who feast on anything as long as enough moisture is around.

19. Flour Beetle

Flour Beetle
by division, CSIRO is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Flour beetles are tiny reddish-brown insects that live in kitchens and pantries. However, you may occasionally find them in your bed. 

Furthermore, they consume a wide range of foods, including wheat, grains, and cereals. Unfortunately, flour bugs can contaminate food and trigger allergic reactions in some people.

The best thing to do if you find flour beetles all over your house is to do a thorough cleaning.

You must remove all food products from your pantry and inspect every one for signs of an infestation.


There you have it – 19 different types of insects in New York. We hope you’re now more familiar with some of the insects that may be living in your home.

And, more importantly, the ones you should avoid in your environments. You should contact an exterminator as soon as you notice an infestation.

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