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How many legs?

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Quick ID Guide
Insect Basics

Choose the best option:

option 1Pest has 6 legs

  • Pest has 3 legs on each side of body (6 legs total)
  • do not count antennae

option 2Pest has 0, 8, or more than 8 legs

Examples:

boxelder bug
boxelder bug
(1/2", 11-14 mm), photo by Link Elmore, Bugwood.org

 

bed bug adult
bed bug
(3/16", 4-5 mm), photo by Gary Alpert, Harvard University, Bugwood.org

 

American cockroach
American cockroach
(1 3/8-2 1/8", 34-53 mm)

 

carpet beetle, adult
carpet beetle
(1/16-1/8", 1.8-3.2 mm), adult, photo by Natasha Wright, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

 

bumblebee
bumblebee
(1/4-1", 6-25 mm) (1/4-1", 6-25 mm)

 

carpenter ant
carpenter ant
(1/8-1/2", 3.5-13mm)

 

moth
moth
(1 1/2-1 7/8", 38-46 mm)

 

housefly
house fly
(1/8-1/4", 4-7.5 mm)

 

ground beetle
ground beetle
(1/16-1 3/8", 12-35 mm), photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Examples:

No legs:

maggot
fly maggot
(1/8-3/8", 3–9 mm)

8 legs:

sowbug killer spider
sowbug killer spider
(3/8-5/8", 11-15 mm), photo by Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org
 
blacklegged tick
blacklegged ticks
(1/8", 2.7mm), photo by Jim Occi, BugPics, Bugwood.org

Numerous legs:

sowbug
sowbug
(1/4-5/8", 7-15 mm)

 

house centipede
house centipede
(1/8-6", 4-152 mm)

 

stone centipede
stone centipede
(up to 2", 50 mm), photo by Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org

 

millipede
millipede
(1/16-4 1/2", 2-115 mm)

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Unless otherwise noted, all photos and illustrations by NYS IPM Staff