If you've ever found a small, shiny black beetle in your home or yard, you might be wondering what kind of beetle it is. There are many black beetles, and most pose no threat to humans or other animals (beetles are one of the most popular creatures on earth). However, some can damage wood and starchy foods like grains, so it's good to know what kind of beetle you're dealing with.
There are more than 400,000 species of beetles on the planet, making them the most diverse group of organisms in the animal kingdom. Even within the United States, there are an estimated 18,500 species. Out of all those species, only the black ones tend to invade homes and yards and crawl up walls and ceilings, scaring away people and pets alike. Because black beetles are so common in many areas worldwide, it's essential to know how to identify them so you can take action if they're found in your home or yard.
Beetles come in all shapes and sizes, with varying lifestyles and behaviors. However, these common black beetles are some of the most recognizable species in the U.S. They can often be found in homes or yards throughout the country. Read on to learn about 40+ common black beetles and what you can do to help keep them out of your home or yard.
First, a Quick Science Lesson: What Are Beetles?
Beetles can be found in nearly every habitat, from the Arctic tundra to the rainforests of South America. Beetles are also incredibly diverse in appearance, with some species looking like tiny insects and others resembling large and colorful animals.
Despite their diversity, all beetles share a few common features. Most notably, they have a hard exoskeleton and two pairs of wings. The front pair of wings is hardened and serve as a protective cover for the hind pair of wings used for flight.
Beetles also have chewing mouthparts and powerful mandibles that allow them to feed on various plants and animals. Thanks to their adaptability and versatility, beetles have been incredibly successful, making them one of the most abundant groups of animals on earth.
Interesting Facts About Black Beetles
There are several interesting facts about black beetles that many people may not know. Here we will share a few of these fun beetle facts:
Black Beetles Can Fly Long Distances
Black beetles can fly long distances due to their unique physical attributes. Their wings are specially adapted to aerodynamic flight, and their muscles can generate high levels of force. Additionally, black beetles have a high metabolic rate, which allows them to generate the energy needed for sustained flight.
Their large wing area also helps them stay airborne for extended periods. All these adaptations combine to let black beetles fly great distances without tiring. Consequently, they can disperse over broad areas and colonize new habitats.
Black Beetles Get Attracted to Light
Black beetles are attracted to light because they use light as a navigational cue. The beetle uses light to orient itself and determine where it needs to go. Additionally, the light may also attract mates for the beetle.
Black Beetles are Excellent Swimmers
For several reasons, black beetles are excellent swimmers. Their streamlined bodies minimize drag as they move through the water, and their strong legs provide powerful strokes. In addition, black beetles have special paddles on their hind legs that help them steer and change direction.
These adaptations make black beetles well-suited for life in aquatic environments. As a result, they are often found near ponds and waterways, where they play an important role in the food chain.
Black Beetles can Survive a Long Time Without Food or Water
Black beetles can survive for long periods without food or water, thanks to a few adaptations that have allowed them to become one of the most resilient insects on the planet. For example, their exoskeletons are extremely tough and impermeable, preventing them from dehydrating in arid conditions.
They can also enter a state of suspension called diapause, which essentially shuts down their metabolism and allows them to live off stored fat reserves. In some cases, black beetles have been known to survive for over a year without food or water.
These adaptations have allowed black beetles to thrive in a wide range of environments, making them one of the most successful insect species on the planet.
How to Identify Different Types of Black Beetles?
There are many different types of black beetles, and it can be challenging to identify them all. However, a few key characteristics can help you identify different types of black beetles.
- First, look at the size of the beetle. Black beetles come in various sizes, from very small to very large.
- Second, look at the shape of the beetle. Black beetles can be oval-shaped, round-shaped, or elongated.
- Third, look at the beetle's legs. Some black beetles have long legs that they use for running, while others have short legs that they use for crawling.
- Finally, look at the beetle's coloring. Some black beetles are entirely black, while others have patterns of black and brown on their bodies.
By considering these key characteristics, you should be able to identify most types of black beetles.
Common Types of Black Beetles in Your Home, Garden or Yard
Black beetles are a type of insect that can be found in your home, yard, or garden. While most pose no threat to humans or animals, some can damage wood and starchy foods like grains, so it's good to know what kind of beetle you're dealing with.
African Black Beetle ((Heteronychus arator)
The African black beetles are a common pest in gardens and agriculture from the Scarabaeidae family. It is a small, black beetle that measures 12-16 mm (15/32- 5/8") in length. The body is cylindrical, and the head is slightly flattened. The African black beetle has well-developed wings and can fly. It is found in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
African black beetles feed on various plants, including garden vegetables, fruits, and ornamentals. This beetle can cause extensive damage to crops and gardens and has one generation per year. Adults lay their eggs in soil crevices near the base of plants. Eggs hatch into larvae which tunnel through the soil and feed on plant roots. Pupation occurs in earthen cells. Adults emerge from the pupal stage in late spring or early summer and mate soon afterward.
Identification: African lack beetle has a shiny, black body. The head is slightly flattened and extends beyond the thorax. The antennae are clubbed at their tips.
American Carrion Beetle (Necrophila americana)
This is a member of the Silphidae family and is native to North America. These beetles are black and have a shiny, hardened exoskeleton. Adults typically range in size from 25-30 mm (1-1.2"), although some specimens can reach lengths of up to 35 mm (1.4"). American carrion beetles are often found near sources of carrion, such as roadkill or decomposing animals in forests. These beetles are attracted to the odor of decaying flesh and will readily feed on dead animals.
The American carrion beetle often plays a vital role in the decomposition process. These beetles lay their eggs on corpses, and the larvae hatch and begin feeding on the carcass soon after. The larvae help break down the tough tissue and hair of the corpse, making it easier for other scavengers to consume. In this way, the American carrion beetle helps clean up the environment and recycle essential nutrients into the soil.
Identification: The American carrion beetle is a large, black beetle with a shiny exoskeleton. The front of its body is covered with fine hairs, and it has bright red eyes.
American Oil Beetle (Meloe americanus)
The American oil beetle is a large, black beetle in the blister beetle family (Meloidae) found in wooded areas across the United States. Adults can grow up to 40 mm (1.5")s in length, and their bodies are covered in short, stiff hairs. The beetles are most commonly found in May and June when they mate and lay eggs. The larvae hatch in July and August and overwinter in the soil before emerging as adults the following spring.
Unlike many other species of beetles, the American oil beetle does not feed on plants. Instead, they derive all of their nutrients from symbiotic relationships with certain species of bees. When the larvae hatch, they attach themselves to bees and ride on their backs until they reach adulthood. Although the American oil beetle is not considered a pest, its large numbers can occasionally cause problems for beekeepers.
Identification: The American oil beetle is large, black, and stout abdomen. The head is small and oval-shaped, with a pair of antennae longer than wide.
Armored Stink Beetle (Eleodes pimelioides)
This is a large, black beetle with a hard shell covering its body from the Pentatomidae family. Adults can reach up to 38 mm (1.5") in length, and their shell is covered with small bumps. These beetles are often found in deserts and arid regions, where they feed on plants.
One of the most distinctive features of the armored stink beetle is its ability to emit a foul-smelling odor when threatened. This odor is used to deter predators and has also been known to cause headaches in humans. In addition to its unique defense mechanism, it's also known for its long lifespan of 15 years.
Identification: The hard shell covering adult armored stink beetles is black and covered with small bumps. The head, legs, and antennae are black as well. Adult beetles range from 15 to 35 mm (1/2 to 1 1/2") long.
Big-headed Ground Beetle (Scarites subterraneus)
The big-headed ground beetle of the Carabidae family is a black beetle native to North America. It gets its name from its large head, twice the size of its body, and has prominent antennae and large mandibles. Adult beetles can reach up to 20 mm (3/4") in length.
The big-headed ground beetle is a nocturnal creature that lives in wooded areas. It is an excellent climber and often crawls up tree trunks in search of prey. The beetle feeds on small insects, such as ants and other beetles. It is also known to eat snails and slugs. The big-headed ground beetle is a beneficial insect because it helps to control pests.
Identification: The big-headed ground beetle is a large, black insect with prominent antennae and large mandibles. The head of adult beetles is as long as their bodies. This beetle has a shiny, dark brown body with black legs and antennae.
Black and Red Blister Beetle (Megetra cancellata)
This tiny, narrow insect from the Meloidae family measures just 8-12 mm (5/16-15/32") in length. It is black with two distinct red stripes running down its back. The beetle is often found in fields and gardens, feeding on various plants. Blister beetles are unique in that they can secrete a chemical called cantharidin, which can cause blisters on the skin.
While not dangerous to humans, this chemical can be toxic to livestock if the beetles are accidentally ingested. As a result, farmers often consider blister beetles to be pests. However, the black and red blister beetle is not known to cause significant damage to crops.
Identification: Adult black and red blister beetles are small, narrow insects with red stripes. Their bodies are oval and elongated, with a somewhat rounded shape. They have short legs and antennae.
Black Blister Beetle (Epicauta pennsylvanica)
The black blister beetle from the Meloidae family is a small beetle with a distinctive red line running down its back. It measures approximately 9-12 mm (23/64-15/32") in length and is found predominantly in the eastern United States. The black blister beetle generally inhabits grassy areas such as fields and pastures, where it feeds on the leaves of plants.
While the black blister beetle is not considered a major agricultural pest, it can cause significant damage to crops if present in large numbers. In addition, the black blister beetle is capable of producing a chemical that can cause blisters on human skin. As a result, taking care of this insect is crucial.
Identification: The black blister beetle is a small black beetle with a distinctive red line running down its back. The antennae of adult beetles are shorter than their legs.
Black Carpet Beetles (Attagenus unicolor)
This tiny, oval-shaped insect, known as skin beetle, is a member of the Coleoptera family. It measures between 3 and 5 mm (1/8-13/64") in length and is covered in fine hairs. This beetle species is found worldwide but is most commonly seen in homes and other indoor spaces. Black carpet beetles feed on different materials, including woolen fabrics, carpets, fur, and feathers.
They can also cause severe damage to stored food products such as flour and cereals. Black carpet beetles are particularly difficult to control because they can reproduce quickly and are adept at hiding in small crevices. To prevent an infestation, it is important to regularly vacuum and clean areas where these insects are likely to be found.
Identification: Adult black carpet beetles are shiny black and oval-shaped. They have three dark spots on each wing cover and a long, narrow snout. The larvae are white, legless grubs that grow up to 2 cm (3/4") long.
Black Caterpillar Hunter Beetle (Calosoma sayi)
The black caterpillar hunter beetle is a ground beetle species in the Carabidae subfamily native to North America. It gets its name from its habit of preying on caterpillars and is black in coloration with a metallic sheen. The adult beetles are approximately 25 mm (1") in length, and the larvae are white with black spots.
The beetles can be found in wooded areas and are active during the day. They are attracted to light and are often seen on flowers or near porch lights. The black caterpillar hunter beetle is a vital predator of caterpillars and controls the population of destructive insects.
Identification: The black caterpillar hunter beetle is a shiny black beetle with red legs and antennae. The larvae are white with black spots and have two pairs of short legs.
Black Firefly (Lucidota atra)
This small beetle from the Lampyridae family with a glossy black shield is found in wooded areas and forests across the eastern United States, where it is often seen flying among the trees in late summer evenings. The black firefly is a member of the Lampyridae family, known for its ability to produce light.
This beetle has two large, luminous eyespots on its thorax, which help to startle predators and ward off attacks. In addition, the black firefly uses its light to attract mates. Females often perch on tree branches and flash their abdomens to signal their availability to potential suitors. If a male beetle finds a suitable mate, he will approach her and flash his abdomen in response.
After mating, the female black firefly will lay her eggs on the ground, where they will hatch into larval form within a few weeks. These larvae will spend the winter underground before emerging as adults in early spring. The black firefly is a fascinating insect that plays an important role in its ecosystem. By using light to communicate and deter predators, this beetle helps ensure its survival and the survival of its species.
Identification: Adult black fireflies are approximately 13 mm (1/2") long and black with a greenish sheen. They have large, broad heads and large eyespots on their thoraxes. These spots contain bioluminescent cells that produce light.
Black Stink Beetles (Proxys punctulatus)
The black stink beetle is a small beetle that measures just over 10 mm (25/64") in length. Its body is black with a dull sheen, and its head is slightly narrower than its pronotum (the plate-like structure that covers the thorax). The black stink beetle is found in North America, primarily inhabiting wooded areas. It is often attracted to light, making it a common pest in homes and businesses.
The black stink beetle gets its name from the foul-smelling liquid it secretes when threatened. This liquid contains harmful compounds to plants, and the black stink beetle has been known to destroy crops. In addition to its distinctive smell, the black stink beetle is notable for its loud mating call, which has been described as sounding like a "buzzing saw."
Identification: The head of a male black stink beetle is narrower than its pronotum, while that of a female is wider. In addition, males have longer antennae than females.
Black Vine Weevils (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)
These weevils are small, black bugs that feed on the leaves of plants. Adults are about 10 mm (25/64") long and have a long, slender snout. They are generally found in gardens and greenhouses, where they damage plants by feeding on their leaves. The larvae of black vine weevils are white, legless grubs that live in the soil. They feed on the roots of plants, causing them to become weak and unhealthy.
Black vine weevils are a serious pest of many crops, including strawberries, raspberries, and ornamental plants. Removing infested leaves and crops is essential as soon as possible to control them. Additionally, Insecticides can be used to kill adult weevils and larvae.
Identification: Adult black vine weevils are dark brown to black, with a long snout. They have short antennae, and a hard covering on their body called an exoskeleton.
Broad-necked Root Borer (Prionus laticollis)
The broad-necked root borer is a large, robust beetle found throughout the eastern United States. Adults are typically dark brown or black and measure 25-75 mm (1-3") in length. They have a broad neck and large, powerful mandibles that they use to tunnel through wood. The broad-necked root borer is often found in forested areas where they feed on the roots of hardwood trees.
However, they can also be found in gardens and yards where they may damage ornamentals or vegetables. If you suspect that you have broad-necked root borers on your property, you may be able to find them by looking for wood chewing damage or piles of sawdust near the base of trees or shrubs.
You can also look for their distinctive egg masses, which are eggs laid in rows on the underside of leaves. The broad-necked root borer is a nuisance pest that can cause significant damage to trees and other plants. However, they do not pose a threat to human health and can be controlled with a variety of management options.
Identification: With its large size and distinctive coloring, it is not difficult to identify adult broad-necked root borers. The adults are dark brown or black with a yellow band across their thorax and a black head. The female has a long ovipositor that extends beyond her abdomen, while males have short ovipositors that do not extend beyond their body.
Bronze Ground Beetle (Carabus nemoralis)
This is a night-dwelling insect commonly found in gardens and wooded areas. Adults are dark bronze and measure up to 26 mm (1") in length. They have long, slender bodies with ridged wing covers. The larvae are cream-colored and have spiny bodies. Bronze ground beetles are predators that feed on other insects, such as caterpillars, slugs, and snails.
They are most active at night when they can be found searching for food among the leaves and under stones. If disturbed, they will often play dead. Bronze ground beetles often enter homes through cracks in doors and windows. Once inside, they typically hide under furniture or carpeting.
These insects do not bite or sting and are not known to carry diseases. However, they can become a nuisance if they enter in large numbers. To prevent them from entering your home, seal any cracks or gaps around doors and windows. You can also reduce the population of these insects by removing their food sources from your garden, such as caterpillars and slugs.
Identification: The bronze ground beetle is a large, heavy-bodied insect with long legs and antennae. The body is dark bronze with a glossy sheen.
Bronzed Tiger Beetle (Cicindela repanda)
This is a small, glossy insect, typically bronze or copper in color. Adults generally are around 13 mm (1/2") in length, with males slightly smaller than females. These beetles are predators, and they primarily feed on other insects. They are often found near streams or ponds, where they hunt for prey. In some cases, they may also enter homes in search of food.
Bronzed tiger beetles are most active during the day and typically mate in the spring. Females lay their eggs in the soil, where the larvae hatch and develop over several weeks. The larvae are grub-like in appearance, and they spend most of their time underground. They pupate in late summer or early fall, and the adults emerge in early autumn. These beetles typically only live for one year.
Identification: The bronzed tiger beetle is a tiny, slender insect with long legs and antennae. The body is glossy and typically bronze or copper in color.
Cedar Beetle (Sandalus niger)
The cedar beetle is a small black beetle common in North America. Measuring just 3 to 5 mm (1/8- 1/5") in length, the cedar beetle is easily distinguished by its shiny black exoskeleton and short antennae. These beetles are active during the day and can often be found in wooded areas or near trees and shrubs.
While they are not known to bite humans or animals, cedar beetles can be a nuisance if they find their way into your home. These beetles typically enter homes through cracks in the foundation or openings around doors and windows. Once inside, cedar beetles will hide in dark, quiet areas such as attics, basements, and crawl spaces. While they do not cause any damage to your home, their presence can be unsettling.
Identification: Cedar beetles are small, black beetles with short antennae. They are shiny and smooth and small in size. The beetle's head is bent downward at an angle, giving it a hunchbacked appearance.
Common Eastern Firefly (Photinus pyralis)
This firefly is a small, delicate creature found in wooded areas throughout the eastern United States. Measuring just 13 mm (1/2") in length, this firefly is easily distinguished by its orange-yellow body and black wings. During the day, common eastern fireflies can be found hiding in trees and under logs, but at night they come out to feed on nectar and pollen. They are also attracted to light, so they can often be seen flying around porch lights and street lamps.
In addition to their unique appearance, common eastern fireflies are also notable for their lifecycle. Unlike most insects, which go through a metamorphosis from egg to larva to pupa to adult, fireflies spend most of their lives in the larval stage. It is not until they reach adulthood that they develop the ability to fly and mate. After mating, the female lays her eggs on or near the ground, where they remain until the following spring.
Given the right conditions, a single female can lay up to 100 eggs in her lifetime. While most people think of fireflies as harmless creatures, their larvae threaten crops and gardens. Known as "glowworms," these grub-like creatures feed on snails, slugs, and other small invertebrates. As a result, they can do significant damage to crops and gardens if left unchecked.
Identification: Common eastern fireflies are easily identified due to their orange-yellow coloration and black wings. In addition, they have a red spot on their head.
Common Furniture Beetle (Anobium punctatum)
The common furniture beetle is a small, oval-shaped insect measuring between 3 and 5 mm (1/8-13/64") in length. Its body is dark brown, and it has a distinctive humped back. The common furniture beetle is found throughout Europe and Asia and is one of the world's most common types of furniture beetle. The common furniture beetle typically infests wood that has already been damaged by other insects or water. However, it can also attack undamaged wood, particularly if damp or stained.
As its name suggests, the common furniture beetle is particularly fond of infested furniture. However, it can also be found in flooring, timber frame buildings, and wooden objects such as picture frames and musical instruments. The common furniture beetle is capable of causing significant damage to wood, and it can be challenging to control once an infestation has taken hold.
However, several steps can be taken to prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place. These include ensuring that wood is properly sealed and stored in a dry environment. Several treatment options are available if you have a common furniture beetle infestation. These include chemical treatments, heat treatments, and freezing.
Identification: Common furniture beetles are dark brown oval-shaped beetle with a distinctive humpbacked appearance. Legs are short, and antennae are much shorter than the legs. Color varies from dark brown to black, depending on how recently it has fed.
Cucumber Beetles (Diabrotica undecimpunctata)
These beetles are small; brightly-colored insects are often found feeding on cucumbers and other gourd family members. These beetles measure approximately 5 mm (1/5") in length and have a distinctive yellow-and-black dot striped pattern on their backs.
In addition to cucumbers, cucumber beetles also feed on squash, pumpkins, and watermelons. These insects can cause significant damage to crops, and they are also known to transmit several plant diseases. Cucumber beetles are most active during the day and typically spend the night hiding in foliage or soil.
These beetles may enter homes for a warm place to overwinter during the winter. Cucumber beetles can be found throughout North America, and they are a common pest in many home gardens.
Identification: The cucumber beetle is a small, brightly-colored insect. The back of these beetles is yellow with black stripes or dots. They also have orange-shaded legs and long antennae.
Darkling Beetle (Eleodes obscura)
The darkling beetle is a small, black insect commonly found in arid regions of the United States. Adults grow to be about 30 mm (1 3/16") long and are characterized by glossy, hard exoskeletons. Darkling beetles are nocturnal creatures that spend their days hiding in dark places such as under rocks or in cracks in the ground.
At night, they emerge to feed on various food sources, including dead insects, plants, and even carrion. While darkling beetles are not considered pests, they can occasionally be found inside homes, where they typically congregate in basements or closets. One unique feature of darkling beetles is their ability to roll up into a tight ball when disturbed, a behavior that helps them avoid predators.
Identification: They are always pure black or dark brown, with no coloring marks. They can't fly because their wings are linked together over their backs. They come in various shapes, ranging from almost circular to long, thin, and oval. Antennae protrude from the region around their eyes.
Desert Stink Beetle (Eleodes acuticauda)
This is a small, dark-colored beetle common in dry, arid regions. Adults range in size from 13 to 38 mm (1/2-1 1/2") long, typically black or brown. Despite their size, they are easily distinguished by their long, slender antennae and hard, shiny bodies. Desert stink beetles are generally nocturnal insects and often hide in cracks and crevices during the day.
At night, they come out to feed on various plant life, including prickly pear cactus pads and mesquite beans. They also occasionally enter homes in search of food and water. While they do not threaten humans or pets, desert stink beetles can be a nuisance due to their unpleasant odor.
They release this odor when disturbed or threatened, which can be pretty strong. However, this odor is also one of the insect's most unique features, as it helps to repel predators.
Identification: Desert Stink Beetles are small, hard-shelled beetles that are usually black or brown. They have large, powerful mandibles and long antennae.
Diabolical Ironclad Beetle (Nosoderma diabolicum)
The diabolical ironclad beetle (Nosoderma diabolicum) is a small black beetle native to the United States. They are approximately 25 mm (1") long and have a hard, shiny exoskeleton. These beetles are very difficult to kill, as they can withstand being crushed by a weight of up to 39,000 times their own body.
This resilience is due to their unique exoskeleton, composed of two layers of rigid materials held together by microscopic fibers. The diabolical ironclad beetle can be found in various habitats, including woodlands, grasslands, and deserts. They are often found inside homes and feed on wood and other organic materials.
These beetles are not considered a significant pest, but their resilience makes them a nuisance for homeowners. Some unique features of the diabolical ironclad beetle include its ability to withstand crushing force and its rugged, shiny exoskeleton.
Identification: Adult diabolical ironclad beetles are small and have tiny legs. They have a shiny black hard exoskeleton, small black antennae at their base, and white at their tips.
Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus)
This beetle is black with a distinct "eye" marking on its back. Measuring between 25-45 mm (1-1.8") in length, this beetle gets its name from the clicking sound when it flips itself over onto its back. The larvae of the eastern-eyed click beetle are known as wireworms and are damaging to crops such as corn, potatoes, and beans.
Adults can be found in fields, gardens, and near forest edges. They are nocturnal creatures attracted to light, which is how they often end up inside homes. Once inside, they are usually found near windows or lights. While generally not harmful to humans, these Beetles can cause damage to crops and should be removed from the home if possible.
Identification: The eastern-eyed click beetle is a medium-sized black beetle with an orange-yellow head and thorax. Its most distinguishing feature is the two large eyes on its back.
False Mealworm Beetle (Alobates pennsylvanica)
The false mealworm beetle, Alobates pennsylvanica, is a small, brown beetle commonly found in homes. It measures around 25 mm (1") in length and has a dark brown or black body with light brown spots on its thorax. The false mealworm beetle is a scavenger that feeds on dead insects, larvae, and other small organic matter.
It is often found near windows, doors, and other light sources. These beetles are not harmful to humans or pets and do not damage food or furniture. However, they can be a nuisance because of their large numbers and tendency to fly into homes.
Some unique features of the false mealworm beetle include its long hind legs which allow it to jump great distances, and its water-resistant body which enables it to survive being submerged underwater for several hours.
Identification: The pronotum (the part be8tween the head and wings) of the false mealworm beetle is roughly square, and each elytron (hard covering over the wings) includes at least five rows of small punctures.
Hermit Flower Beetle (Osmoderma eremita)
This type of Scarabaeidae beetle is found in North America. They are black or brown, oval-shaped, and measure between 25 and 30 mm (1-1.2") in length. The hermit flower beetle is a nocturnal creature that is attracted to light. They are most often found near porch lights or street lights. During the day, they hide in cracks and crevices near their food source.
The hermit flower beetle feeds on the flowers of plants in the genus Osmoderma, which is why they are also known as Osmoderma Beetles. These beetles are pollinators and help fertilize the plants they feed on. The hermit flower beetle has a lifespan of 1-2 years. Females lay their eggs in late summer or early fall, and the larvae hatch in late fall or early winter.
The larvae go through 3 instars before pupating in spring. Adults emerge from their cocoons in late spring or early summer. Hermit flower beetles can be found inside homes if they find their way inside through an open door or window. Once inside, they will hide during the day and come out at night to feed on flowers. These beetles are not harmful to humans or pets and do not damage furniture or food.
Identification: Hermit flower beetles are oval-shaped and black or brown. They have very short antennae that curve slightly at their tips. Their metallic sheen is most noticeable on their elytra, its hard wing covers.
Horned Passalus Beetle (Odontotaenius disjunctus)
The horned passalus beetle is a black or brown beetle of the Passalidae family that can reach up to 38 mm (1 1/2") in length. Its horns on the head behind the eyes and its hard, shiny body are distinguished. The beetles are often found near streams or rivers, feeding on decaying wood. They are also attracted to homes, where they may enter through cracks in the foundation or beneath doors.
Once inside, they will spend most of their time in basements or crawlspaces, emerging only at night to feed on stored food or feast on other insects. While they do not pose a serious threat to humans, their presence can be a nuisance. Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of horned passalus beetles, including traps and baits explicitly designed for them.
Identification: Adult horned passalus beetle can be black, dark brown, or even maroon or orange. The legs are also dark, but some may have short orange hairs under the pronotum. Larvae look like white worms and have a dark line running along the 'spine.'
Oblique-lined Tiger Beetle (Cicindela tranquebarica)
The oblique-lined tiger beetle is a small, brightly colored insect from the Carabidae family found in various habitats across North America. Adults typically measure around 13 mm (1/2") in length, with a sleek, elongated body and prominent mandibles. The sides of the beetle's thorax and abdomen are marked with dark stripes, which contrast sharply with the bright metallic colors of the wings.
In terms of lifestyle, the oblique-lined tiger beetle is an active predator, preying on a variety of small insects and spiders. These beetles can also be quite aggressive and have been known to attack much larger animals, such as birds and mammals.
These beetles are most commonly found in open areas with sandy soil, such as grasslands and beaches. However, they can also be found in wooded areas and inside homes. Although they are not considered pests, their aggressive behavior and large mandibles can make them unwelcome houseguests. Some unique features of the oblique-lined tiger beetle include their bright colors, active lifestyle, and large mandibles.
Identification: The oblique-lined tiger beetle is a small, slender insect with a shiny, iridescent black and green body. The beetle's thorax is marked with two thin black stripes that run from its head to its wing covers.
Oriental Beetle (Anomala orientalis)
This small, dark beetle in the Scarabaeidae family is most commonly found in Asia. However, the beetle has also been known to invade homes in North America. The oriental beetle is approximately 13 mm (1/2") in length and has a black or brown body. The beetle is typically active during summer and can be found in gardens or near trees.
The oriental beetle is known to damage plant life by feeding on the roots of plants. The beetle can also be a nuisance inside the home, as it is attracted to light.
Identification: The oriental beetle is most easily identified by its black and brown coloration. The beetle also has two large, light-colored spots on its back. The beetle has a flat body with wings that are held close to its body when not flying.
Pigweed Flea Beetle (Disonycha glabrata)
The pigweed flea beetle is a small, black beetle in the Amaranth family that measures between 3 and 7 mm (1/8- 1/4") in length. It has a shiny, hard exoskeleton and large hind legs that enable it to jump great distances. The pigweed flea beetle is found in North America, Europe, and Asia and typically inhabits fields and gardens where pigweed (Amaranthus spp.) plants are present.
These beetles feed on the leaves of pigweed plants, which can cause significant damage to the plant if left unchecked. In some cases, the pigweed flea beetle will infest homes where it will feed on various household plants.
Identification: The red and black head of the pigweed flea beetle is distinctive. The red pronotum, which resembles a shield, may have a single or three black dots in the middle.
Punctured Tiger Beetle (Cicindela punctulata)
This is a small, colorful beetle of the Carabidae family native to North America. Adults are typically around 13 mm (1/2") in length, with a bright metallic green or blue coloration. The punctured tiger beetle is an active predator, preying on several small insects. They can often be found running along the ground in search of food. In addition, these beetles are excellent fliers and can often be seen chasing their prey through the air.
When not searching for food, punctured tiger beetles can be found basking in the sun or hiding in cool, shady areas. Their habitat includes open spaces such as fields and meadows. Due to their active lifestyle, punctured tiger beetles are not often found inside homes. However, they may enter homes accidentally through open doors or windows.
Once inside, they will typically hide in dark corners or beneath the furniture. The punctured tiger beetle is a harmless insect that poses no threat to humans or pets. However, their presence inside the home can be a nuisance. If you find one of these beetles inside your home, the best course is to scoop it up and release it gently outdoors.
Identification: The punctured tiger beetle can be distinguished from other tiger beetles by the small white spots on its wing covers. These spots are arranged in a row and give the beetle a "punctured" appearance. They are also notable for their iridescent wing coloration, ranging from green to blue.
Red-Lined Carrion Beetle (Necrodes surinamensis)
The red-lined carrion beetle (Necrodes surinamensis) is a small, black beetle in the Silphidae family with distinctive red lines running along its back. It is typically found in tropical and subtropical regions and is often drawn to homes searching for food. The red-lined carrion beetle feeds on decaying organic matter, such as dead insects and other small animals. This makes it an important part of the ecosystem, helping clean up and recycle nutrients.
However, the red-lined carrion beetle can also be a nuisance pest when it infests homes. It is attracted to mixed paper products and can often be found hiding inside books or newspapers. In addition, this beetle is known for its ability to produce a foul-smelling liquid as a form of self-defense. While the red-lined carrion beetle is generally not harmful to humans, it can be a nuisance pest.
Identification: The most distinctive feature of the red-lined carrion beetle is the red lines running along with its black exoskeleton. These lines can vary in intensity and may be broken or interrupted in some cases. They are also notable for their small to medium size, typically between 13 and 26 mm (1/2-1") in length.
Rhinoceros beetle (Dynastinae)
This large black beetle in the Scarabaeidae family is found in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Adults can reach lengths of up to 15 cm (6"), making them one of the largest beetles in the world. They are black or dark brown, with a thick, hard exoskeleton. The most distinctive feature of the rhinoceros beetle is its large horn, which is used for defense and digging burrows.
These beetles are nocturnal, spending their days hiding in trees or under logs. At night, they come out to feed on plant matter such as leaves, flowers, and fruit. They are usually found in dark, quiet places such as attics or basements if they enter homes. Although they are not considered dangerous to humans, their large size and noisy movements can be startling.
Identification: The rhinoceros beetle has a glossy blue-black coloration and is coated in many tiny holes and grooves. The outgrowth on the top of the male's head, shaped precisely like a rhino's horn, makes it simple to identify this species. The female does not have a complete horn but only a little bump on her head.
Sculptured Pine Borer (Chalcophora virginiensis)
The sculptured pine borer is a large, black and white beetle native to the eastern United States. Adults can reach up to 30 mm (1 1/4") in length and are often found on pine trees. The larvae of this species are white and legless, and they tunnel into the wood of pine trees, causing extensive damage.
If infestation runs rampant, it can eventually kill the tree. In homes, sculptured pine borers are often found in basements and crawlspaces where they are attracted to the wood framing. These beetles can cause significant damage to a home if left unchecked. Homeowners should look for signs of infestation, such as sawdust or piles of wings near doorways or windows.
Identification: The sculptured pine borer is a large, black and white beetle with an elongated and slightly flattened body shape. The head is black with white markings, and the thorax and abdomen alternate black and white sections. The legs are black with white spots. The wings are transparent, with black markings along the edges.
Shiny Flea Beetle (Asphaera lustrans)
This is a small, shiny black beetle in the family of Chrysomelidae that is often found in gardens. These beetles are relatively small, measuring just 1.5 mm (1/16") in length. Their bodies are covered in a hard shell, which helps to protect them from predators. The shiny flea beetle gets its name from its habit of jumping like a flea when it is disturbed.
These beetles are usually found on the leaves of plants, where they feed on the tissue. This can cause extensive plant damage and even kill young seedlings. Shiny flea beetles are often found in gardens, but they can also be found in homes. These beetles can enter homes through cracks and crevices in the foundation or through open doors and windows.
Once inside, they often hide in dark, warm places such as under furniture or behind appliances. While they are not typically harmful to humans, their feeding habits can cause damage to carpets, clothing, and other fabrics.
Identification: The shiny flea beetle is a small, shiny black beetle with large eyes and a rounded body with a red-colored head. Its long legs allow it to jump like a flea when disturbed. These beetles are often confused with others, such as ladybugs and ground beetles.
Strawberry Seed Beetle (Harpalus rufipes)
The strawberry seed beetle is a small, dark-colored beetle of the Harpalinae subfamily, commonly found in gardens and greenhouses. This beetle is about 12 mm (1/2") long and has a shiny, black body with a reddish-brown head. The strawberry seed beetle feeds on the seeds of strawberries, raspberries, and other small fruits.
These beetles are often found inside the home, near windows and doors. They typically enter homes in the spring in search of food and shelter. The strawberry seed beetle is a nuisance pest and can be controlled with insecticides.
Identification: Strawberry seed beetles are small, black insects with reddish-brown heads. These beetles have short antennae and large eyes. The body of this beetle is shiny and smooth, while its legs are long and thin.
Sugarcane Beetle (Euetheola humilis)
The sugarcane beetle (Euetheola humilis) is a black insect in the Scarabaeidae family with distinctive dark stripes running down its back. Adults grow to be about 12 mm (1/2") in length. Sugar cane beetles are found in tropical and subtropical regions, where they feed on sugar cane plants.
They can also be found inside homes, where they often enter through open doors and windows. Once inside, they will hide in dark places such as closets and drawers. Sugar cane beetles are not considered dangerous to humans, but their large size can make them a nuisance.
They are also known to bite if disturbed. Despite their name, sugar cane beetles are not attracted to sweet foods. They prefer savory foods such as meat and cheese. However, their liking for delectable foods does not make them any less annoying. If you find a sugar cane beetle in your home, capturing it and releasing it outdoors simply is best.
Identification: Sugarcane beetles are pretty easy to identify. Their small size, combined with their distinctive dark black stripes and short antenna, makes them one of the more easily recognizable beetle species.
Texas Flower Scarab (Trichiotinus texanus)
This is a small beetle in the Scarabaeidae family native to Texas. Adults are typically dark brown or black in color and range in size from 6 to 12 mm (1/4 to 1/2") in length. They are often found feeding on flowers, hence their common name. The larvae of this species are white or cream-colored and grow up to 24 mm (1") long.
Texas flower scarabs are most active at night and are commonly found near outdoor lights. They can also be found inside homes, where they are attracted to light fixtures. While they do not bite or sting, Texas flower scarabs can be a nuisance due to their large numbers and tendency to enter homes in search of food. Some unique features of this beetle include its large size and distinctive coloration.
Identification: The Texas flower scarab is a large beetle with a hard, dark brown, or black exoskeleton. The body is covered with small hairs that give it a velvety appearance. A light-colored band runs down each side of its body, with lighter patches on its head and legs.
Tomentose Burying Beetle (Nicrophorus tomentosus)
The tomentose burying beetle is a small, black beetle of the Silphidae family with a dense covering of yellowish-brown hair. Adults typically range in size from 12 to 20 mm (15/32-25/32"). They are found in wooded areas and gardens throughout the eastern United States. The beetles are active at night and can hide under logs or other daily debris.
They are commonly found in basements, attics, and crawl spaces when they invade homes. The tomentose burying beetle gets its name from its habit of burying small animals for food. The beetles also lay their eggs on the carcasses, and the larvae will feed on the dead animal's flesh.
One unique feature of this beetle is its ability to emit a foul-smelling odor when disturbed. This odor is used to deter predators and competitors. While the tomentose burying beetle can be a nuisance pest, it does not pose a severe threat to humans or animals.
Identification: The tomentose burying beetle is a small, black beetle with yellowish-brown hair covering its body. The legs are long and thin and not covered with hair. They have short antennae that do not extend beyond their eyes.
Twice-stabbed Lady Beetle (Chilocorus stigma)
The small, black beetle from the Coccinellidae family has two red spots on its back. Adult beetles are about 3mm (1/8") long. Larvae are small and black, with long, spiny legs. Both adults and larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Generally, they are found in gardens, fields, and forest edges. Indoors can be found in basements, closets, and other dark places.
The twice-stabbed lady beetle is a vital pest control insect. It is also known as the "double-headed bug" because of the two red spots on its back. When crushed, the beetle emits a foul odor. This Beetle is native to Europe but has been introduced to North America and other parts of the world.
Identification: Twice-stabbed lady beetles are oval and convex. The upper surface is black, with two red spots on each wing cover. They have short legs, antennae, and a thorax that narrows toward their head.
White-spotted Sawyer Beetle (Monochamus scutellatus)
These are black beetles from the Cerambycidae family native to North America. Adults can reach up to 25 mm (1") in length and are generally brown or black in coloration, with white spots on the wings. The larvae of this species are known as "roundheaded borers" and can cause significant damage to trees.
The larvae hatch inside the tree and then tunnel their way out, causing the tree to weaken and eventually die. The white-spotted sawyer beetle is most commonly found in forests, where they feed on the sap of trees. However, they can also be found in urban areas, where they may enter homes searching for food.
Inside the home, these beetles attract light and can often be found near windows and doors. Although they are not considered a major pest, white-spotted sawyer beetles can be nuisance pests due to their size and ability to damage the wood.
Identification: The white-spotted sawyer beetle is a large, black beetle with white spots on its wings. It has a long, narrow body and is covered in hair. The larvae are yellowish-white, C-shaped grubs with brown heads.
Willow Leaf Beetle (Chrysomela vigintipunctata)
The willow leaf beetle is a small insect that measures approximately 8 mm (5/16") in length. It has a round body with a black or brown head and long, slender antennae. The wings are covered in small, black spots, and the abdomen is often striped with yellow and black. The willow leaf beetle is found in North America, Europe, and Asia.
In the United States, it is most commonly found east of the Rocky Mountains. The willow leaf beetle typically feeds on willow trees, but it has also been known to feed on poplar trees like other members of the Chrysomelidae family. The willow leaf beetle typically lays its eggs on the undersides of leaves. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the leaves, causing them to turn yellow or brown.
In some cases, entire leaves may be consumed. Adults usually overwinter in woodpiles or other protected areas. Willow leaf beetles can be a nuisance when they enter homes searching for food or shelter. However, they do not pose a threat to human health.
Identification: Willow leaf beetles are easy to identify. The adults grow to 8 mm long and have a shiny, black head and thorax with iridescent greenish-blue wing covers.
Winter Firefly (Ellychnia corrusca)
The winter firefly is a small, luminescent beetle from the Lampyridae family that is most active in late fall and early winter. Measuring just 6-8 mm in length, these beetles are compact and slender, with long antennae and black-and-white patterned wings. Their most distinctive feature is their large, oval-shaped "lantern," which glows greenish-yellow when the beetle is disturbed. Winter fireflies are found in woodlands and fields across Europe and North America.
They typically spend most of their lives hiding among the leaf litter. In late autumn, however, they become much more active, often venturing into homes in search of a warm place to overwinter. While winter fireflies are not known to bite or sting, their presence in the home can be bothersome. If you find one in your house, the best action is to scoop it up in a jar and release it outdoors.
Identification: Winter fireflies are small, black, or gray beetles with long antennae and a large, oval-shaped lantern that glows greenish-yellow when the beetle is disturbed.
Wooly Darkling Beetle (Eleodes osculans)
These are dark brown beetle from the Tenebrionidae family commonly found in arid regions. These beetles are less than 13 mm (1/2") long and have a unique set of defensive adaptations. The wooly darkling beetle has a hard exoskeleton that helps to protect it from predators. Additionally, this beetle can roll into a tight ball when threatened, making it difficult for predators to grasp.
The wooly darkling beetle is also covered in fine hairs that help camouflage it in the desert sand. These beetles are nocturnal and prefer to live in burrows or under rocks. They are scavengers and will feed on carrion or other decaying matter. If threatened, the wooly darkling beetle will emit a foul-smelling liquid from its rear end as a defense mechanism.
These beetles are not considered to be pests and are not known to cause any damage to homes or other structures. However, they can occasionally be found inside homes where they may be drawn to light sources.
Identification: Wooly darkling beetles are small, brown beetles with a hard exoskeleton and fine hairs covering their bodies. They can roll into a tight ball when threatened and emit a foul-smelling liquid from their rear end as a defense mechanism.
How To Get Rid of Beetles?
You should look around your home and see if there are any black beetles in the kitchen, bathroom, and basement. Depending on what kind of beetle you have, you'll want to capture and release it outside or find out how to get rid of them entirely.
There are some ways that you can get rid of black beetles for good.
Know the Beetle
First of all, before trying anything else, make sure you know what kind of beetle it is. There are many types of black beetles, and not all of them are pests. Some beetles are helpful, like the ladybug.
If you have a black beetle that is damaging wood or eating your food, then you probably have a pest beetle and will need to take action to get rid of it.
Remove Their Food Source
One way to get rid of beetles is to remove their food source. If you have a pest beetle eating your food, make sure to store your food in airtight containers. You should regularly check your pantry for any beetle infestation and throw away any infested food.
If the beetle is damaging the wood in your home, make sure to repair cracks or holes in the wood. You should also regularly inspect your home for any beetle damage and fix it as soon as possible.
Keep Your Home Clean
Another way to get rid of beetles is to keep your home clean. Vacuum regularly and dust all surfaces in your home. This will help to remove any beetle eggs or larvae that might be present. You should also periodically clean out your appliances, such as your refrigerator and oven, to remove any food that might attract beetles.
Use Beetle Traps
You can use beetle traps if you want to eliminate beetles. There are many different types of beetle traps available, so make sure to choose one specifically designed for the type of beetle you have. Beetle traps can be placed in your pantry, near wood furniture, or anywhere else you have seen beetles in your home.
If you have a serious beetle infestation, you may need to use insecticide. There are many different types of insecticides available, so make sure to choose one specifically designed for the type of beetle you have. Insecticide can be applied to your pantry, near wood furniture, or anywhere else you have seen beetles in your home.
Black Beetles FAQs
Black beetles are a type of insect that can be found in a variety of locations around the world. These beetles vary in size and appearance, but they all share one key feature: their black color. Black beetles are known to infest homes and gardens, and they can be challenging to remove once they take up residence. If you're dealing with a black beetle infestation, here are a few answers to some frequently asked questions.
What Do Black Beetles Eat?
How Do Black Beetles Reproduce?
Are Black Beetles Dangerous?
Why are Black Beetles Attracted To Light Bulbs?
What Do Black Beetles Mean Spiritually?
What Type Of Damage Can These Insects Cause?
Let's review. We now know how beetles are an important part of any ecosystem and their role as pollinators and decomposers. We also know that there are more types of beetles than you can imagine, and each one is unique in its particular way. Identifying black beetles takes time, but it's important for everyday life—beetles won't bite you (unless you threaten them), but they infest areas around your home and yard. Thankfully, with a little study, some research into identification techniques, and a guide like ours today, you should be able to quickly identify black beetles that may make their way into your home.