What Are Click Beetles?
Click beetles are bugs that are cousins with the elater beetles. There are about 9,300 species of click beetles worldwide, and they are usually found in tropical countries. These beetles also love to stay in heavily vegetated areas, fondly living underground, inside big, decaying trees, and under their barks. Click beetles are common and not on the endangered species.
They are also called Skipjack beetles, or Jackknife beetles, and have a scientific name of Melanotus spp.
How Can you Identify Click Beetles?
These beetles are primarily black, but some species are brown or reddish-brown. They have long and narrow bodies, with a length of 10 mm to 18 mm. These insects can fly, but they move slowly and make this annoying noise a form of evasion from their potential attackers. A stiff spine can propel itself away from danger on the side belly part of the click beetle. This creates a strong clicking sound since it uses much force. They also tend to fall on their backs. It may look funny that they are struggling, but being on their backs is like losing their lives slowly until they get back on their feet.
The larvae of click beetles are called wireworms, and literally, these babies are pests. They eat plants and crops like corn, potatoes, and wheat, destroying harvests. The worms move from one area to the other when they have consumed it since they do the traveling underground until they become adult beetles.
Where Do Click Beetles Live?
Adult click beetles are usually night creatures, and they live by plants or within trees. They are fascinated with lights during the night, which is why in the morning, you will see click beetles near a house light, relaxing. They stay there for the night and then back again on the soil, in plants, and trees during the day. The wireworms live underground, making their way through the ground and eating crops and plants. They need a place to stay that keeps them safe from predators like decayed logs, barks, plants and trees, and keeps their stomachs full.
What Do Click Beetles Eat?
These insects eat anything organic in your garden or crop site. They want plants, the nectar of a flower, the plant juices, leaves, and stems. Their larvae are very destructive to harvests too. They eat anything and everything from plants to anything decaying in the soil and trees or logs. Some even eat plant seedlings, sprouts, and roots. They destroy everything in their tracks and even eat larvae of other beetles when they get the chance.
Do Click Beetles Bite And Are They Harmful To Humans?
Click beetles have a mouth and can chew, so technically, they can and will bite. Their jaws are well-developed, and they use them to catch their prey and eat their food. But they do not use their mouths to bite their predators. Instead, they make this loud and annoying clicking sound to ward off their potential hunters.
Even if they have mouths, their bite cannot hurt humans or other big animals (except for larvae), but in the event they do, it means that they felt threatened. Their mandibles are strong, and they can cause inflammation. If it happens, put an ice pack on the inflamed part for at least twenty minutes. Repeat the treatment until the swelling subsides. It is also advisable to take an antihistamine like Benadryl to ease your itchiness, redness, and swelling too. If a click beetle bites a child, bring the kid to the pediatrician for consultation.
How Long Do the Click Beetles Larvae Stay In The Soil?
Click beetles drop their eggs on the soil where there is food available for their hatchlings to eat. They are usually positioned in fields with crops to eat or near grassy weeds and trees with rotting wood. Once the eggs are laid, it will hatch in a few weeks and becomes wireworms. These wireworms can live up to six years if they hide well.
Are Click Beetles Bad?
On humans, they are not bad as click beetles do not attack people. The problem with click beetles and their babies is the tendency to destroy crops. They eat plants and everything organic. Their clicking sound is annoying, and if in big groups, they can also invade your home, though it is uncommon. The usual thing they do is eat your harvest and destroy your livelihood. And so, yes, in that sense, the pests could be nasty.
Also Read: How to Get Rid of Click Beetles Naturally
How To Prevent Click Beetles
In natural ways, click beetles can be prevented:
- You can suck them all up manually using a vacuum cleaner. Make sure you dump them afterward.
- It is necessary to repair any damages in your home so that beetles cannot get in. You have to fix that holed screen door or any areas with weatherstripping. Cover up all holes and cracks. Make sure the crawl space is always cleaned and free of bugs. For damaged roofing and flooring or foundation, it has to be repaired immediately.
- Click beetle larvae will not thrive in mulched soil. Constantly do that to disrupt their life cycle.
- They love moisture and watery parts of the soil. Do not overwater your plants, or else; they will live and eat there. If your plants need much water, just relocate them to be beetle-free or switch to dry plants.
- Repair gutters, clear up your drainage and pipes, and use well-draining soil instead.
- Keep your garden clean and maintained all the time.
- Reduce your night lights.
- Use pest-resistant plants in your garden.
- Spray a pesticide with pyrethrin. If you cannot do it yourself, call an expert on pest termination.
Beetles will have no use in your home. Their larvae will even destroy your plants, and if you have a farm, your crops will be terminated. At the first sign of this click beetle, you have to get rid of it fast. It is not cute. It is not your friend. And it is something to terminate immediately.