What do bugs eat?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What do bugs eat?” and provide information on which bugs take in blood, what herbivore, frugivorous, and carnivorous bugs eat, whether bugs eat dung, how they hunt as well as what insects eat in a desert.

What do bugs eat?

Bugs eat leaves or plant sap. Some bugs would feed on blood. Ticks, bed bugs, and mosquitoes feed on blood. 

Some bugs like ants or termites work in groups to search for food. Some bugs like termites feed on cellulose present in wood trees or furniture prepared from wood. The diet of insects can vary ranging from plant matter, blood, animal matter, insects, or nectar.

Ants have a wide range of diets. They eat dead insects, food spills, and sweet foods inside people’s houses. In plants, it can look for honeydew which is secreted by aphids. 

Like ants, cockroaches are not choosy with their diet. They eat veggies, fruit, oil, cheese, meat, sweets, and starchy foods. They can also feed on beer, dry skin, and leather. 

Do bugs take in blood?

Both bed bugs and mosquitoes feed on blood to survive. Mosquitoes feed themselves till they are full. 

Bed bugs feed for around 3-7 days and suck 0.005 milliliters of blood with every bite. Ticks feed on blood but bite upon receiving an opportunity. This makes them opportunistic feeders. Ticks remain attached to the host’s body. Adult ticks would take in 0.2-1 ml of blood. 

What do herbivore bugs eat?

Herbivore bugs feed on stems, seeds, flowers, leaves, and fruits. Caterpillars are the most popular herbivorous bugs. 

Eating leaves helps caterpillars to prepare for metamorphosis into a butterfly. Stink bugs are another popular example of herbivore bugs. Young stink bugs eat grasses or plant matter. Mature ones are frugivorous and feed on fruits. 

What do frugivorous bugs eat?

Frugivorous bugs eat fruits. Some examples of frugivorous bugs are beetles, wasps, aphids, maggots, butterflies, hornets, and flies. Frugivorous bugs target ripe or rotting fruits. Fruits provide them with the required amount of nutrients.

As these bugs feed on fruits, they are considered pests. Insecticides can be used to kill these bugs which can end up contaminating fruits with pesticides.

Bees feed on nectar or pollen. Sugary foods like fruits, juice, or sodas are also consumed by them.

What do carnivorous bugs eat?

Carnivorous bugs eat other insects or dead animal matter. Insects that feed on blood are considered carnivorous too.

Dragonflies and praying mantises are some carnivorous bugs. Dragonflies commonly eat midges, mosquitoes, moths, and butterflies. Dragonflies indulge in cannibalism and eat smaller dragonflies.

Praying mantises eat lizards, fish, and frogs. Female praying mantises are cannibals. They eat male praying mantises.

Other insects that feed on dead insect matter are larvae, beetles, and flesh flies. Some flies would lay larva inside open wounds or rotting flesh. Wasps eat spiders, caterpillars, flies, or ants.

Do bugs eat dung?

Dung beetles eat dung. Dung beetles collect feces and roll them in the form of a ball. Some dung beetles bury dung and bury them before returning to eat them. Animal dung can be a source of food for many flies.

Flies can eat rotting or dead matter. House flies can be found around garbage cans and even feed on feces apart from fruits and veggies.

What do insects eat in a desert?

Even though food options can be limited in a desert compared to a forest, there are many insects found in deserts too. 

Some insects that can be present in a desert would include skimmers, beetles, tarantulas, and desert locusts. These insects can either feed on smaller insects or consume the eggs of other insects.

Desert ants look for dead or decomposing bodies of animals or insects. Some insects even feed on tubers.

How do bugs hunt?

Bugs have a variety of ways to hunt. Some insects have antennae that help them in smelling and detecting prey. Insects like fleas or lice use their antennae to detect body heat and feed on their host.

Some bugs have compound eyes which can help them to check the movement of their prey. Insects like ants or termites work in colonies to find food. Bugs like grasshoppers can camouflage themselves to find prey.  

Certain bugs are equipped with poison to kill their prey and defend themselves too. Bugs like spiders can use webs or poison to trap prey. Bugs can also sting or use sharp incisors to kill prey.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What do bugs eat?” and provided information on which bugs take in blood, what herbivore, frugivorous, and carnivorous bugs eat, whether bugs eat dung, how they hunt as well as what insects eat in a desert.



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