Beetles, Beetles everywhere, some cause havoc in pantries, others in pastures, while others are useful predators. Filed under the order of Cleoptera, there exists around 400,000 species of beetle, with the U.S. laying claim to around 12,000 species. Depending on the species, beetles can be our friend or our foe. For instance, some beetle species are considered useful as they go about their day (or night) nibbling on insects which ruin our crops. On the other hand, we have those beetle species which feed on our crops or food stuffs, such as grains and other plant life. Then you have the nuisance beetle which acts like a moth and munches on our natural fabrics such as carpeting, wool items, leather, and so on. Beetles are a fascinating insect, intent on survival and adaptation in order to survive. Like it or not, the beetle is here to stay.
1. Lady Bugs
One of the more likable bugs on the planet is the ladybug. They are so likable that you can find their images on everything from wallpaper to coffee cups. Attractive bugs, there are people that have entire collections of ladybug memorabilia in their homes. In fact, Nadia is a collector from the Ukraine who has the world’s largest collection of ladybug memorabilia in the world! You can find the ladybug in your gardens nibbling on insects. A welcome site for many gardeners, the ladybug thrives on eating the young of other insects, as well as mites and even the eggs of other, more invasive insects.
2. Cereal Leaf Beetle
The cereal leaf beetle is one of the more serious pests on this continent. In appearance, they are reddish brown in color and around 5mm long. Place of origin for this plant pest was Europe and Asia. As you can probably guess, the name ‘cereal leaf beetle’ is a give away to the type of damage they do. In fact, they are known to eat most of our common cereal plants, especially oats, wheat, rye and barley. To get a good idea of the cereal leaf beetle, the damage and solutions, visit the RealAgriculture video.
3. Lyctid Powderpost Beetles
This tiny insect enjoys hardwoods in particular and will leave its mark with small round holes in the wood. The places you’ll likely see evidence of it’s presence will be wood trim and flooring. According to Colorado State University, Lyctid beetles attach only wood products made from hardwoods, e.g., oak, ash, walnut. As they chew through your hardwoods they leave a fine powder behind, hence the name powderpost beetle.
4. Rove Beetles
The Rove Beetle has around 25,000 species to its name. Nocturnal in nature, they come out at night to feed on small bugs, spores, and pollen. Rove Beetles can fly by utilizing their hindwings, as their frontal wings are much too small. They are harmless and prefer to reside in wet, damp areas such as near a pond or nestle in a mass of wet leaves. Rove beetles are predatory and are considered by some to be of use in biological control of insects which destroy crops. According to the University of Florida, there have been several attempts to use them for bio control, but the trials have yet to be successful.
5. Cigarette Beetles
The cigarette beetle is a common find in Texas households. Their larvae find much in the home to their liking, including flour, nuts, grains, seeds, produce, even potpourri and dried flowers. When they reach adulthood, they resemble little oval beans. They have wings and will fly to reach high points such as window sills, and ceiling fans.
6. Merchant Grain Beetle
Merchant grain beetles are small insects, around 1/8 inch in size. Flat, long and brown in color, the merchant grain beetle has 6 legs, antennae. They do have wings, but are flightless. As the name implies, they subsist on grains, along with dried foods such as bread, flour, spices, nuts and so on.
7. Drugstore Beetle
Also known as the bread beetle, the drugstore beetle is considered a pantry pest. Pantry pests feed on foods stored in pantries such as flour, spices, as well as wool, hair and even certain dry medications, hence the name. The drugstore beetle is a tough insect whose jaws chew through wood, leaving little round holes behind.
8. Sawtoothed Grain Beetle
The sawtoothed grain beetle is a common visitor to many homes. They can be found in areas which store their favorite foods: Dry grains, breads, spices, nuts, dried fruits, dry pet food, cake mix, and so on. Long and flat in appearance, brown in color, the sawtoothed grain beetle get their name from 6 protrusions on each side of their midsection, giving them the name of ‘sawtoothed’.
9. Redhorned Grain Beetle
These beetles can be found in the home, usually in the spring and fall seasons. They are deep black with hint of purple surrounding their bodies. Their antennae are yellow-red, almost a burnt sienna, which gives them their name of ‘redhorned’ grain beetle. These insects love corn, as well as grains. Fortunately, they aren’t a fan of fresh grains, but prefer wet and moldy grains. One more thing, be careful when bringing any wood into the house, as these beetles enjoy old, fungus ridden wood, and can accidentally be brought into the home.
10. Japanese Beetle
The Japanese Beetle is one of the most dreaded pests for homeowners who enjoy nice lawns, plant life, and vegetable gardens. The fact that they enjoy feasting on over 300 species of plants, many of which are for our consumption, as well as serve an ornamental purpose, makes them the enemy of gardeners and farmers alike. This is a recent invasion, as far as we know. They were first discovered in America in 1916, Riverton, New Jersey. If you’d like more information regarding control of this pest, the National Plant Board has put together a Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan which can help you get started in gathering information.
11. Red Flour Beetle
The red flour beetle can be found consuming your dry goods. Wherever you house your cake mixes, dry pet food, breads, grains, crackers, and so on, there’s a chance you’ll find them there. In order to manage these reddish-brown pests, you’ll have to toss out all items they’ve come in contact with, such as bags of flour, cornmeal, etc., and clean out the storage area. Next, you’ll have to purchase new items and put them in closed containers like Tupperware.
12. Cabinet Beetle
The cabinet beetle is one of the most harmful insect pests in the world. Also known as the Khapra beetle, it survives on grains, flour, and seeds. This is a tough insect to deal with. First of all, the cabinet beetle is resistant to many pesticides. There’s also the fact that the cabinet beetle can exist without food for a long time. Males have a dark red/ brown color, with females a tad lighter.
13. Foreign Grain Beetle
The odd thing about the foreign grain beetle is that they often appear in brand new homes, as opposed to being brought in with the groceries of carried by apparel or shoes. “An interesting, but unsettling thing happens to many occupants of brand new houses, especially when the houses are built in the summer and occupied in late summer or fall. New houses are frequently infested with foreign grain beetles, a common and often abundant “fungus” beetle found throughout the world.. These small invaders average 2mm long with blackish brown coloring. Though their name contains the word ‘grain’, that’s not their diet. In reality, their diet consists of the mold and fungi found on grains in damp, humid locations such as barns, storage bins, and so on.
14. June Beetle
The June Beetle is also known as the June bug. Unlike the tiny grain eating beetles, these beetles are quite hefty in comparison. Their bodies are thick and round with a burnt sienna coloring. Unlike the pests that invade your cupboards or eat your carpets and sweaters, the June beetle usually keeps to the outdoors consuming plant life. They can be a nuisance if you like to sit under electric lights during the night. They also get into the homes accidentally through open windows and doors.
15. Ground Beetle
If you see a beetle that’s black, about 1/2 inch long with these large pinchers, chances are you’ve come across a ground beetle. Ground beetles love it best outside in a damp, moist environment. They love to nestle under rocks or pieces of old wood. Even though they prefer the great outdoors, you should do whatever it takes to stop them from entering the home, where they can become a nuisance.
16. Click Beetles
Click beetles get their name from the clicking sound they make. A nocturnal species, they only come out at night to forage for food. With regards to food, these beetles stick to a diet of foliage. Whereas the carpet beetle causes destruction inside the home, it’s the click beetle which causes severe damage in gardens. They have such a voracious appetite, that they spend their hours consuming seeds, stems, roots and leaves. To fight back, gardeners put out traps with sweet bait to lure and eliminate these pests.
17. Carpet Beetles
As the name suggests, carpet beetles enjoy ingesting carpet fibers for sustenance. However, they don’t stop there. Carpet beetles will make a meal out of almost any natural fabric, from silk, skins, leather, and leather. But, they will not eat manmade fabrics. As such, clothing made from synthetic fabrics are left alone unless it’s a blend with a natural fabric, such as wool. If you even suspect you have carpet beetles, you need to jump on it immediately, as they can breed without detection until it is too late, and you’re items are now damaged
18. Blister Beetles
Blister beetles can cause havoc for farmers who grow and harvest alfalfa. These beetles find the taste of alfalfa attractive, and so will look to infest these fields with June to September being the months with the highest risk of infestation. Blister beetles will often concentrate in clusters within a field. Owners of sheep, cattle and horses must take note, that these animals can suffer from blister beetle poisoning, especially horses, (https://aaep.org/horsehealth/blister-beetle-poisoning) so please take precautions.
19. Chinese Rose Beetles
These pests are a menace to gardeners everywhere. This beetle consumes plants, with over 250 plants on its dinner menu, it can cause significant damage. Nocturnal feeders, they can come out at night and reek havoc on your gardens, as green leafy vegetables are high on their list. Reddish brown or burnt sienna in color, they measure around 1/2 an inch. According to the Green Garden Guy, there are a few solutions when dealing with them, including night time lighting.
20. The Colorado Potato Beetle
The Colorado potato beetle is considered one of the worst pests in North America when it comes to potato farming. In fact, both the adults and larvae will join in on the party and strip plants dry. Unfortunately for potato farmers, the Colorado potato beetle has built up a resistance to many pesticides, so will need a combination of methods to control them. These little soldiers of destruction are about 3/8 inches long with a orange-ish coloring. While they are called a potato beetle, their diet also consists of Nightshade, peppers, tomatoes and eggplants.
As you can see, there are thousands of types of beetles in the world. Some of these beetles, such as the water beetle, keep to themselves, while others like the cabinet beetle seem to want to invade our pantries and eat our grains.Still others prefer to stay outside, populating backyard gardens, pastures or fields. If you suspect that you are a victim of a beetle species, but not sure, look information at state university websites. If you’re still unsure or need to be rid of them, then contact a professional. Many of these beetles are hard to eliminate due to any pesticide resistance, like the Colorado potato bug, while others disappear once you clean out the pantry and replace all grains, cereals, cake mixes, etc., with sealed containers like Tupperware.