Beetles are one of the largest groups of insects. They make up about 40% of the insect world and constitute 30% of all Earth’s creatures. They can be colorful like the beloved ladybug or creepy like the granary weevil. Dung beetles were once even revered.
You can find beetles in many colors, shapes and sizes. The can be as tiny as 1/100 of an inch to a whopping 7 inches in length and have six legs. Beetles primarily differ from other insects in their wings. Most flying insects have two pairs and so do beetles. But in a beetle, the outer wings are hardened and thickened. They form a protective “case” over the back of the beetle forming a straight a line down the center of the back where the wings meet.
Depending on the species, beetles may eat other insects, fibers like carpet, grains like flour or plant materials like your favorite hybrid tea rose. They can decimate a landscape, fill your lawn with brown patches, infiltrate your pantry or gnaw your rugs. Some can and will bite, but most are not able to do much damage to humans.
With so many different species, there seems to almost always be a beetle that’s active. Like many insects, they can become dormant in colder temperatures.
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