Increased production of insects on a large scale for food and feed will likely lead to many novel challenges, including problems with diseases. We provide an overview of important groups of insect pathogens, which can cause disease in insects produced for food and feed. Main characteristics of each pathogen group (viruses, bacteria, fungi, protists and nematodes) are described and illustrated, with a selection of examples from the most commonly produced insect species for food and feed. Honeybee and silkworm are mostly produced for other reasons than as human food, yet we can still use them as examples to learn about emergence of new diseases in production insects. Results from a 2014 survey about insect diseases in current insect production systems are presented for the first time. Finally, we give some recommendations for the prevention and control of insect diseases.