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When most people think about insects and pests, they tend to think about cockroaches, bees, and bed bugs. Beetles aren’t oftentimes at the forefront of most people’s minds when the term “pest” comes up in a conversation. Despite this, the beetle is truly one of the most interesting insects out there. It also stands to be one of the most problematic. Therefore, it is imperative to understand everything you possibly can about this pest and how to deter it from your property.
Largest Group Of Living Organisms
It all starts with the fact that the beetle is the largest group of living organisms known to man. They are even more prevalent than plant life, which is mind-blowing when all things are considered. They are so immense that one in every five organisms on earth is considered a beetle. Scientists have discovered over 350,000 species of beetles but there are likely even more lingering about. It has been said that there could be as many as 3 million species living on the planet. That being said, it is the order of the Coleoptera that is the largest known to the animal kingdom.
They Live Everywhere
It probably doesn’t surprise you to learn that beetles can be found about anywhere. With their immense numbers, it only makes sense that they are going to take up so much space. From the north to the south pole, you can find species of the beetle scatted up and down the earth. What’s even more interesting is they’ll inhabit both terrestrial and freshwater aquatic habitats. Forests, grasslands, deserts, tundras, mountaintops, or beaches. It doesn’t matter, these are all places where the beetle will take up residence. Some have said that God must have had an inordinate fondness for the beetle.
Equipped With Body Armor
One of the most recognizable things about the beetle is its hardened forewings. It is these forewings that serve as a type of armor for the insect. It protects the more delicate flight wings and soft abdomen underneath. The forewings are like their own special suit of armor. When the beetle takes flight, it holds these protective wing covers out to the sides, allowing the hindwings to move freely so they can maintain flight.
Sizes Drastically Vary
Most insects are similar in their size. This is not the case with the beetle. This is something that many might suspect in a group so large. These pests can range from microscopic to downright gigantic. The shortest known species are the featherwing beetles that belong to the Ptiliidae Family. The smallest of the species is the fringed ant beetle, which only measures 0.25 millimeters with a weight of 0.4 milligrams. As far as large species go, it is the goliath beetle that tips the scale, weighing in at over 100 grams. The longest of the species is one that hails from South America. They are known as the titanus giganteus. This order can reach nearly 20 centimeters in length.
They Chew Their Food
It might be a well-known fact, but not all insects chew their food. Take the butterfly, for example. It sips liquid nectar from its own personal built-in straw, commonly referred to as the proboscis. That being said, one common trait in all adult beetles and most beetle larvae are their mouthparts. These parts were specifically designed for chewing and that’s what they allow the adult beetle to do. Most beetles feed on plants, but there are some species like the ladybug that will commonly consume other, smaller insects.
No doubt there are lots of interesting things about the beetle. With their prevalence, they can pose major nuisances. Identifying and dealing with each specific species can sometimes require different, unique approaches. Therefore, it is best to hire the pros to take on the task for you. Whether you want to learn more about beetles, have a few questions, or suspect your home might be infested, you can give our Austin office a call. We always have someone standing by who can and will assist.