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Scientific Name: Coleoptera
Physical Attributes: six-legged with two main segments and a hard outer carapace; varies by species
Adult Size: .55 to 170 mm
Habitat: Beetles are found in a very large array of habitats including forests, bodies of water, homes, grasslands, beaches and more.
Lifespan: Most species of beetles live for a year or less, but some varieties may live for much longer.
Found In: Throughout the US and in all continents except Antarctica
Beetles are the largest order of animals in the world, and there are at least 350,000 various species found throughout the world. More than 25,000 of these species have been identified in North America alone. Beetles are mostly an outdoor pest, but they can find their way inside and be difficult to remove.
Beetles experience a four-stage metamorphosis. These stages (egg, larva, pupa, and adult) are common among many different types of insects. Beetles begin their life as an egg. Female beetles can produce hundreds of eggs at a time, and where these eggs are laid is dependent on the species. Most commonly eggs are found on leaves or in rotting wood. Once the eggs have had time to develop, larva will hatch. Almost all insects experience a larva stage such as this one, and the most common characteristics of larvae is their rapid eating patterns. As they continue to eat the larva grows and will sometimes shed its skin. Depending on the species, larva may never shed an exoskeleton, while others will shed and reform exoskeletons as many as 30 times. After they’ve grown large enough, larvae enter the pupal stage. During this time they remain dormant as they mature into adult beetles. Once they’ve fully developed, adult beetles emerge from the pupa state. Now an adult, beetles continue to feed and start mating or laying eggs.
The time span in which this metamorphosis takes place varies greatly from species to species. Some beetles can experience all four stages in the span of a year, while others take years or even decades to reach adulthood.
Some types of beetles can find their way into the home, oftentimes by accident. Some beetles will enter homes during colder months in an attempt to survive the winter, a process known as overwintering. If overwintering takes place in your home you can have a hard time getting the pests out. It may be best to contact a pest control company if these pests find their way in, as these companies have experience with beetles and the best methods for removing them.
There are other beetles that thrive indoors and can exhibit destructive behaviors. Carpet beetles, for example, eat away at non-synthetic fibers that are used to make carpet, clothes and upholstery within your home. Removing these pests on your own can be difficult, and as with overwintering pests the best thing to do is contact an experienced pest control provider.
There are many types of beetles that are common within the United States. Some of the most commonly spotted beetles in or around the home include: