Black Beetles: What You Need to Know About These Insects
Black beetles are a common type of insect that are found in our homes and backyards. Some species of black beetle are completely harmless and can even help keep bugs out of your home. However, some black beetles are regarded as pests, especially their larvae, which can cause damage to upholstery, carpets, plants, and crops. In this article, we will explore some of the most common types of black beetles, how to identify them, and what to do if you find them in your house or garden.
How to Identify Black Beetles
Apart from their black color, you can identify black beetles by their hard shell, antennae, and pincers. Black beetles that invade homes tend to be smaller in size than the ones you may find crawling around your yard. One of the identifying features of beetles is their unique hard wing cases or covers called elytra. Many types of beetle also use their wings to fly.
Here are some examples of black beetles that you may encounter:
- Black Carpet Beetles: These are small black beetles that belong to the family Dermestidae. They are covered in tiny hairs and have white patterns on their elytra. Their larvae are hairy and brown and can feed on fabrics, fur, feathers, and other organic materials. They can also cause allergic reactions in some people.
- Horned Passalus Beetles: These are large black beetles that belong to the family Passalidae. They have deep grooves on their elytra and a pair of horns on their head. They feed on decaying wood and are beneficial for recycling nutrients in the soil. They can also make a squeaking sound when disturbed.
- Common Eastern Firefly: This is a type of firefly that belongs to the family Lampyridae. It has a black ventral side and a yellowish-green light organ on its lower abdomen. It uses light signals to communicate with other fireflies during mating season. It is harmless to humans and can help control pests like snails and slugs.
- Eastern Eyed Click Beetle: This is a type of click beetle that belongs to the family Elateridae. It has a black body with white spots and two large eyespots on its pronotum. It can produce a loud clicking sound by snapping its body and jump into the air when threatened. Its larvae feed on wood-boring insects and are beneficial for controlling pests.
- Oriental Beetle: This is an invasive species of beetle that belongs to the family Scarabaeidae. It has a brownish-black body with white markings on its elytra. It is a pest of turfgrass, ornamental plants, and crops. Its larvae feed on the roots of grasses and plants and can cause wilting and browning.
- Winter Firefly: This is another type of firefly that belongs to the family Lampyridae. It has an all-black body with no light organ. It is active during winter and early spring and feeds on tree sap and nectar. It is harmless to humans and can help pollinate plants.
What to Do If You Find Black Beetles in Your House or Garden
If you find black beetles in your house or garden, you need to identify what type they are and whether they are harmful or beneficial. Some black beetles can be easily removed by vacuuming, trapping, or using natural repellents like diatomaceous earth, neem oil, or cedar oil. However, some black beetles may require professional pest control services to eliminate them completely.
Here are some tips on how to deal with different types of black beetles:
- Black Carpet Beetles: To prevent these beetles from infesting your home, you need to keep your fabrics clean and dry, store them in sealed containers or bags, and inspect them regularly for signs of damage or larvae. You also need to vacuum your carpets, rugs, furniture, and curtains frequently and dispose of the vacuum bag outside. If you find