Indiana beetles come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are pests, some bite and sting, and others benefit us.
The Good Indiana Beetles
Many Indiana beetles are beneficial for humans, animals, and gardens. Even if these little bugs aren’t beneficial, they are, at the very least, harmless, so allowing them to take up residence in your backyard won’t hurt. This includes:
- Swamp milkweed leaf beetle
- Margined burying beetle
- Mealybug destroyer beetle
- Pennsylvania Leatherwing beetle
- Tumbling flower beetle
Big Dipper Firefly (Also Known as Lightning Bugs)
In the summer, fireflies are renowned for their spectacular nighttime displays. These amiable beetles’ bioluminescence makes both kids and adults happy. Their abdomen emits a yellow-green glow. Without producing any heat, chemical reactions inside the firefly produce visible light. Such a thing rarely occurs in nature. The firefly’s nervous system regulates the light’s brightness and the frequency of its flashes. As the light fades, this particular firefly species will flash its brightest light before flying upward in a “j” curve.
Many people have happy childhood memories of catching fireflies. It’s a great species to introduce kids to the world of insects, but remember, always release the insects back into the wild. Limiting their time in the wild reduces their ability to reproduce because they light up to call mates.
The body of the Big Dipper Firefly is black. A thin yellow edge surrounds each wing covering. The pronotum resembles a shield that protects the head. In addition to being yellow, it has a red patch with a black dot in the middle.
Open fields, meadows, parks, gardens, front yards, and backyards are all places where you can find them. As the sun sets, they start to light up and eventually stop. While their adults are not known to eat, their larvae consume earthworms, slugs, and snails as food.
The Bad Indiana Beetles
These Indiana beetles are the pesky pests in your backyard. They eat things they aren’t supposed to, ruin gardens and crops, and disturb ecosystems. Watch out for:
- Maize weevil
- Pale green weevil
- Rose chafer beetle
- Round-headed apple tree borer
- Three-lined potato beetle
- Plum curculio beetle
- Poplar borer beetle
Bean Leaf Beetle
Bean leaf beetles have various color patterns, from brown to red and even green. On a single leaf, two of them might be mistaken for two different kinds of beetles. The majority display six black, square-shaped spots on the back. In contrast to the series of spots found on the Spotted Cucumber Beetle, which is a close relative, the sides have a long black stripe. The top of the wings have a triangular black spot. Other beetles of this species have plain wings and no black spots. They all have a black pronotum (collar), which matches the color of the rest of the beetle.
Despite its small size, the bean leaf beetle is a pest to field crops and gardens. It consumes beans, shelling peas, and snap peas, as its name suggests. These beetles also munch on cucumber, zucchini, and squash.
Bean leaf beetles have brown spots on their pods and holes where beetles have chewed through the leaves. When disturbed, the beetle tucks its legs and drops to the ground to flee immediately. Although they don’t cause as much harm as the adults sometimes do, the larvae or grubs feed on the plant’s roots.
The Biting Indiana Beetles
We are big and scary to beetles, which is why they do everything they can to avoid big frightening humans. These Indiana beetles bite, sting, or burn only as a fearful last resort.
Here are some biting beetles to watch out for in the Hoosier state:
- Long-horned beetle
- Margined blister beetle
- Northeastern pine sawyer beetle
- Oil beetle
- Rainbow scarab beetle
The Antelope Beetle is a notorious biter. They’re a large (about an inch long) insect that belongs to the family of stag beetles called Lucanidae. The males of this family are frequently bulkier than the females and have powerful mandibles with an upward pointing spur that they use to fight for females. You primarily find antelope beetles in wooded areas east of the Great Plains. The adult beetles feed on the sap of tree trunks.
They nestle in cracks in tree bark, particularly those close to the roots, to lay their eggs. These eggs hatch into larvae that look a lot like the common white grub. The larvae of the stag-beetles, however, bore into the solid wood of tree roots and trunks and reduce it to a substance that resembles very coarse sawdust.
Indiana Beetles Bothering You?
Are beetles bothering you? Bug Out provides a wide range of insect extermination services to residents of Danville, IN, and surrounding areas. Call us today at 317-777-5005 to help identify pests in your backyard.
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