WITH THE BEETLES

WITH THE BEETLES

WITH THE BEETLES

Beetles live in almost all parts of the planet.  When we talk about beetles, this includes the most adored bugs as well as the most hated ones.  Some beetles are garden pests, while a few are household intruders, attacking other people’s pantry. The beetles have hardened wings, that is why they look like miniature tanks, with their armor minus the weapons.  Beetles create damage by chewing things, that is why the damage they cause include holes, tunnels, and chewed plants.  

Beetles are harmless to humans directly, since they do not really bite nor transmit diseases.  What they do is they cause serious damage both indoors and outdoors. Indoors, they cause serious damage to fabrics, carpets, and stored dry food.  Outside, they ravage landscape and crops with gusto.  

About the beetles

Beetles are the largest order of insects on the planet.  They have first appeared on this planet 230 million years ago.  Nothing else comes close as there are over 400,000 identified species of their kind.  There are still many more that are unidentified. Many of them are beneficial insects.  How? They eat other insects that cause damage to plants. Since they are also a part of the food chain, they are also food for many other animals like birds, lizards, and other small mammals. A small fraction of them, however, is actually destructive.  

Adult beetles have 2 pairs of wings with hard, shell-like exteriors.  This hardened armor serves as a protection for their soft abdomen and more delicate inner wings. As you would expect from a group of insects that are so diverse and numerous, they come in many varieties of shapes, colors, and sizes.  They are equipped with strong jaws that allow them to chew their food. Whatever they feed on, they make sure they chew on it thoroughly.  

Beetles live in almost every part of the planet.  They are in trees, flowers, leaves, inside the plants, in freshwater or coastal habitats.  Beetles are also found in the remotest islands.  

Economic damage

A small fraction of the beetle population are pests; most are harmless.  But due to the fact that most beetles feed on plants and plant materials, they become pests of economic importance.  Some beetle species like the bark beetles and wood borers kill millions of trees every year. In order to control them, farmers spend millions on pesticides.  There are also beetles that feed on stored grains even after harvest, so the more economic loss is experienced by the farmers. At the homefront, gardeners spend millions trying to trap beetles like the Japanese beetles.  We have not even mentioned the damage beetles cause inside homes. 

As previously mentioned, most beetles are beneficial insects.  In order to prevent damage to both your homes and plants, it is important to know how to identify the good beetles from the bad beetles.  We would not want to remove the good ones together with the bad ones. 

Pests of homes and gardens

Here is a rogue’s list of common harmful beetles that you may encounter.

Carpet beetles – Pests in houses, warehouse, buildings, and anywhere there is food available.  They cause damage to carpets, fabrics, and stored food. There are three species of carpet beetles: the varied carpet beetles, the furniture carpet beetles, and the black carpet beetle.  But whatever the beetle you may have at home, the damage is sure to follow.

The varied carpet beetle is about 1/10 inch in size, black in color, with irregular patterns of white, brown, or yellow scales on its wings.  Furniture carpet beetles are slightly larger than the varied carpet beetle. They usually have a mottled appearance because of their black spots that intersperse with the white and dark yellow marks on their wings.  They have white undersides. Black carpet beetles are about ⅛ inch to 3/16 inch long. They are shiny black in color and with brown legs. 

Damage is done when carpet beetles are in their larval stage.  They feed on wool, fur, leather, and other animal products. Sometimes they would feed on stored dry food products like grain. 

Squash bugs – Squash bugs are very dangerous to plants.  They kill the plants by sucking the sap from the leaves and stems of squash and pumpkins.   

Squash bugs are about ½  inches in length. Compared with other types of beetles they are fairly large.  They come in either brown or gray colors, have orange stripes at the edges of their underbelly.  Their backs are flattened.  

The best way to get rid of them is to handpick them from your plants.  Put them in a bucket of soapy water to drown.  

Japanese beetles – Japanese beetles are small insects that are harmless to humans but menacing to crops.   Japanese beetles are ½ inch in length. They have metallic blue-green heads, with tan wings.  They have small white hairs on their abdomen. They can eat any plant they choose, which makes them a very big threat to farmers.   In the United States, they are considered one of the major insect pests. Japanese beetles gained access to the United States in the 1900s when plants rooted in soil were being imported,  which caused their spread all over the country. They are of Japanese origin.

Japanese beetles lay eggs in the soil.  These eggs will stay under the soil for ten months and would emerge finally as adults.  

They feed on a wide variety of crops, but they do have their favorites.  Among these favorites are raspberries, grapes, roses, and beans.  

Signs that you have Japanese beetles include brown patches of dying grass and leaves that only have the veins remaining.   Placing row covers on plants during its 6 to 8 week feeding period helps protect them from the Japanese beetles. You may also handpick these beetles one by one.  After picking them off, put them in a solution of 1 tablespoon of liquid detergent and water to drown them.

Flea beetle – They are very common pests that damage vegetable crops like tomatoes, potatoes,  broccoli, turnips, cabbage, eggplant, t radishes, spinach, and melons.  They do the damage by chewing the leaves. This nasty feeding habit leaves unsightly holes on them.  Flea beetle infestation can result in wilted or stunted plants. They eat the leaves and stems of plants.  This creates small, irregular holes and shallow pits in the leaves. Only the flea beetles can do this kind of damage.  The adults are the ones making the damage and are active during the spring. These holes are signs that you have flea beetles. 

Flea beetles are small insects, they are around ⅛ to 1/16 inch long.  One type of flea beetle, the spinach flea beetle, is a bit different as it can grow to ¼ inch.  They come in different colors; from black, metallic gray, blue, or brown. They have large, black legs.  Because of these legs, they are very good jumpers; they jump when they are disturbed. 

It is important not to treat them during the summer.  Plants are already strong enough to withstand damage from flea beetles during these months.  Their population also dwindles at around this time.  

To keep them out these flea beetles out, use row covers until the plants grow up and can survive flea beetle attacks.  You may remove the covers when the flowers begin to come so that they can pollinate. You may also use their natural enemies, like the wasps.  Wasps are natural predators that prey on flea beetles.  

Cucumber beetles – Cucumber beetles are very damaging to your garden plants because they are voracious eaters.  The size of adult cucumber beetles is ¼ inch long. They are yellow-green in color, with dark heads, legs, and antennae.  They feed on seedlings, bright yellow squash blossoms, and cucumber flowers. The larvae can also injure plants by feeding on the plants’ roots and underground stems.  

The adult and larvae can also transmit several diseases to plants, like bacterial wilt.

Make sure to inspect your plants regularly.  If you find cucumber beetles, handpick these beetles one by one. Handpicking is still the most effective way to get rid of them.  

If you have these unwanted pests in your home or garden, be sure to contact the companies that can get rid of insects, and none other than Go-Forth Pest Control.

Go-Forth is simply the best

Finding the best pest control management is important if you want to completely eradicate these troublesome pests in your home safely and efficiently.  For their pest control needs, people from North and South Carolina trust only one name: Go-Forth Pest Control.

At Go-Forth Pest Control, we bring in a new and fresh approach to the pest control industry, using family-friendly and pet-friendly methods of extermination that caters to your specific needs.  Our expert experience in exterminating pests like cockroaches, wasps, weevils, mosquitoes, mice, flies, termites, ants, and spiders can really make you say goodbye to these pests in your home. You may check us on Facebook or Google us to see what our satisfied customers have to say about us.

Go-Forth Pest Control has earned the trust of residents and businesses in North Carolina for more than 50 years.  For more information, or to set an appointment, just dial 336-841-6111. Our friendly operators are standing by.

Go-Forth Pest Control is a family owned exterminator company based in High Point, NC. The company covers The Triad, The Triangle, Charlotte, Hickory, Wilmington, Columbia SC.