Prokaryotic microorganisms are widespread in all environments on Earth, establishing diverse interactions with many eukaryotic taxa, including insects. These associations may be symbiotic, pathogenic and vectoring. Independently of the type of interaction, each association starts with the adhesion of the microorganism to the host, entry and "invasion" of the host, then progresses to establishment and dissemination within the host, by avoiding host immune responses, and concludes with transmission back to the environment or to a new host. Advances in genomics and genetics have allowed the dissection of these processes and provided important information on the elements driving the shaping of the members of each association. Furthermore, many mechanisms involved in the establishment of the associations have been scrutinised, along with the development of new methods for the management of insect populations.