Beetles

Beetles are members of the Order Coleoptera which is the largest of the insect orders of animals. John, Paul, George and Ringo are members of the Beatles but are NOT in the Order Coleoptera.

Anyway, perhaps the most common identifying feature of beetles is the tough, leathery looking wing covers. The wings meet in the middle of the back and form a straight line that dissects the body. Some beetles have wings that are not functional and, therefore, cannot fly.

One group of beetles called weevils or curculios have a long snout. Others have more standard chewing mouth parts.

Beetles go through complete metamorphosis and many of them are also harmful in the larval form. Most beetles live part of their life cycle as grubs in the soil. These grubs have three pairs of legs. Often, as in the case of the European chafer, the larval stage is the one that causes the most problem as they feed on the roots of plants. Japanese beetles on the other hand, do some damage as larvae but reserve their greatest impact for their adult stage when they feed on many, many plants.

Some beetles spend part of their life as leaf miners, borers or bark beetles. So, this is a very diverse group of insects and there are many common landscape pests that fall into this category of insect.

Control:

Since it is such a diverse group of insects, the control of beetle pests involves a large range of techniques. So, it is best to first identify the specific beetle that may be causing your problem and then determine what, if any, control measures are warranted and most effective.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Types of Insects

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