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Most Common Types

Beetles (order Coleoptera) are the most common type of insect. Beetles are known to include some 350,000 species and are therefore the largest group of animals on earth. In the United States, there are nearly 30,000 kinds of beetles known.

What They Look Like

Beetles come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Some are long and slender while others have an oval or rounded shape. Beetles have well-developed antennae and chewing mouthparts. Beetles have shell-like front wings known as elytra. These front wings are often very hard and appear more like a shell than wings. Beetles are often poor fliers.

Where They Live

Different materials attract specific types of beetles into homes and yards. Many species seek out stored grains and packaged foods, while others feed on garden plants, wood or fabric. Some beetles overwinter in homes to avoid cold weather. They may enter the house through cracks in the foundation or gaps around door and window frame

Where They Nest

Beetles can be found in attics, basements, sheds, cabinets, crawl spaces in the walls, or in furniture that isn’t used or moved much. You’ll find beetles in and around rugs, furs, clothing, leather, upholstered furniture, animal hides, carpeting, cracks, crevices, baseboards, seat cushions, kitchen pantries, etc. They also like human and animal hair as well as dead insects and lint. Beetles also tend to live in areas that don’t get much use by humans.

Steps to Prevent

Some beetles can be removed by vacuuming or other means of physical removal. Inspect foods, fabrics and wooden items prior to bringing them into the home. Moisture control works to help prevent beetle infestations. If an infestation is found, replace and discard infested foods, fabrics or wooden items. Several types of beetles are attracted to lights inside a home. Reducing the attractiveness of lights and sealing structural entrances are helpful in preventing problems.

Are They Harmful?

Most beetles are harmless to people. However, they are some species that can inflict harm on a person, or on a person’s belongings or on their food. Beetles are a nuisance because of their ability to damage stored food and property.