Mitochondrial (mt) genome data have been proven to be informative for animal phylogenetic studies but may also suffer from systematic errors, due to the effects of accelerated substitution rate and compositional heterogeneity. We analyzed the mt genomes of 25 insect species from the four paraneopteran orders, aiming to better understand how accelerated substitution rate and compositional heterogeneity affect the inferences of the higher-level phylogeny of this diverse group of hemimetabolous insects. We found substantial heterogeneity in base composition and contrasting rates in nucleotide substitution among these paraneopteran insects, which complicate the inference of higher-level phylogeny. The phylogenies inferred with concatenated sequences of mt genes using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods and homogeneous models failed to recover Psocodea and Hemiptera as monophyletic groups but grouped, instead, the taxa that had accelerated substitution rates together, including Sternorrhyncha (a suborder of Hemiptera), Thysanoptera, Phthiraptera and Liposcelididae (a family of Psocoptera). Bayesian inference with nucleotide sequences and heterogeneous models (CAT and CAT + GTR), however, recovered Psocodea, Thysanoptera and Hemiptera each as a monophyletic group. Within Psocodea, Liposcelididae is more closely related to Phthiraptera than to other species of Psocoptera. Furthermore, Thysanoptera was recovered as the sister group to Hemiptera.