What are beetles?

What are beetles? Beetles are the most common type of insect and can be found everywhere in the world. Beetles have two pairs of wings with the front set acting as a shell-like cover as it protects the body. The back set of wings which are fragile and used for flying. Beetles have antennae which are located between their eyes and are used to feel things in front, around, and behind it. These antennas can be as large or even larger than their bodies. There are many different types of beetles and their sizes can range anywhere from 1mm to 200mm (almost 8 inches). Beetles have 4 different stages of life which are: egg, larvae, pupa, and then adults. It is very similar to the life stages of a butterfly. There are many different kinds of beetles with over 350,000 species. Among these species that are good to know are the Japanese Beetles and Black Blister Beetles.


Do you have iridescent green beetles in your garden or on your lawn? Those are Japanese Beetles. Japanese Beetles eat plants and especially like roses. These beetles originated from Japan, giving them their names, and have become a major pest in the United States.

These beetles live underground as larvae and feed on the roots of your grasses and other garden plants. Because they eat the roots, they can cause brown spots to appear in your lawn as they eat the roots of your grass and cause it to die. These dead patches will easily pull away from the soil since there are no longer roots holding it to the ground. These are telltale signs of a Japanese Beetle larvae infestation in your lawn.

As adults, Japanese Beetles are an iridescent green that likes to feed on a variety of fruit, shaded trees, roses, shrubs, and other plants. They cause damage to trees, flowers, and crops as they eat the plants. These beetles will also eat geraniums which contain a substance that can temporarily paralyze them making them susceptible to a variety of predators. Because of this, geraniums are often used as plant traps.


Black Blister Beetles usually have black bodies but can sometimes have bright yellow stripes. These beetles eat plant leaves, pollen and nectar, parts of flowers, and sometimes even grasshopper eggs and immature bees. Because of their diet, they often venture into your yard and can cause some damage to your plants. However, this is not their main reason for being pests. When disturbed, Blister Beetles produce a bodily fluid which is called cantharidin. This body fluid is a chemical that when it comes in contact with skin, causes swelling and blistering. This irritant is so strong that it is sometimes even used as a wart remover. Blister Beetles can also be a serious health threat to horses and sheep if large amounts with their toxic cantharidin are ingested in hay or other plants used as feed.


Beetles are very rarely dangerous to people so they are mainly considered nuisance pests. However, they can cause damage and be potential danger when they are invading your home and other structures. They can cause damage to vegetation, furniture, fabrics, clothing, and can even contaminate foods. Beetles are sometimes found to bite although normally, they do not. When coming in contact with people, some can cause irritation to the skin and can trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. Beetles can also cause asthma as you breath in their shedded skins or the dust they leave behind. As well as being asthma inducers, they can also be the cause of yet another dust allergen in your home. While beetles overall are not very dangerous to you or your family, there are some species that can cause harm to you as well as your gardens.


Food sources are the number one reason beetles are attracted to the inside of your home. These food sources depend heavily on the species of beetle, however they range from stored grains, packaged foods, plant material, wood and fabric.


As with most pests, in order to help prevent infestation in your home you should start with sealing any cracks or crevices in foundations. Door thresholds or window seals are also areas to consider. For beetle problems outdoors, Recon's Code Green Unlimited service provides protection for your yard, even treating bushes and trees.


Q: Why do I have beetles in my home?

A: As with most pests, beetles seek food, water, and shelter. If there is ease of access to your home, you are likely to find them foraging and wandering around.

Q: My trees are being eaten by beetles. What can I do?

A: These are more than likely Japanese Beetles, and they are attracted to very specific species of plants. They swarm for a period of 6 to 10 weeks in the summer and throughout the rest of the year reside as grubs in the lawn. One way to help with this is to use pheromone traps.

Q: Why are beetles in my food?

A: Pantry Pests are common bugs that are found in foods that have been opened in their packages. Sometimes this can happen at the grocery store, and when transported into your pantry, can be spread to other foods. Eliminating all infested food sources will take care of the issue in most cases.

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Servicing customers in the Metro Omaha Area from Lincoln to Bellevue Nebraska

Recon Pest Services
9989 J Street
Omaha, NE 68127
Phone: 402-227-3266
Omaha Metro Area