Click Beetles

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Identification

  • Colour Black, brown, or grey
  • Size From 2mm to 45mm long
  • Description Some click beetles have dark, round marks on their backs to mimic the eyes of larger animals. Their larvae are tan, white, and brown, and are known as wireworms, due to their slender, segmented, and shiny appearance.
  • Notes Their most recognizable feature is the click sound they make when grabbed or flipped upside down.

How to identify Click Beetles

Adult click beetles are black, brown, or grey and about 12 to 40 mm long. Some species have dark, round marks on their backs to mimic the eyes of larger animals. Their larvae get the name wireworms from their slender, segmented, and shiny appearance. Despite looking like worms at first glance, the larvae actually have six small legs and tough tan, white, or brown bodies. They can be told apart from other grubs that infest plants by their forward-facing mouthparts.

Signs of an infestation

Residents are most likely to see click beetles at night around doorways and windows. Since they are attracted to light, rooms that keep nightlights on after dark are also good places to spot them. To identify click beetles, listen for snapping sounds and watch for jumping or flipping.

Click Beetles Removal

In addition to non-chemical controls, pesticides can be used as a solution to click beetle problems in houses, gardens, fields, and lawns. Always choose and use a product that is registered and labelled for that purpose. Read and follow label directions carefully. It is always best to call a pest control specialist for the safest solution to click beetle problems.

How to prevent Click Beetles from invading

Click beetles are less likely to enter yards with reduced outdoor lighting. Turning off indoor lights may also keep the pests from gathering on the sides of buildings at night. To keep them from entering homes, repair holes in door and window screens and make sure that windows, doors, eaves, and chimneys seal tightly.

Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle

Habitat

Adults are typically found under stones, in decaying wood, hiding under bark, or on plants. Most click beetle larvae live and develop in soil near areas with plenty of vegetation, especially farmland and gardens.

Diet

The diet of adult and larval click beetles varies greatly. Some species of wireworms eat other ground pests, but most feed on the seeds and roots of crops such as potatoes, beans, cotton, corn, wheat, carrots, beets, melons, onions, and strawberries. Turf grasses and ornamental plants can also be food sources. In contrast, adult beetles do not damage plants, but feed on nectar, pollen, flowers, and soft-bodied pest insects like aphids.

Life Cycle

Female adult click beetles lay their eggs in cultivated fields among weeds or cereal crops. In a week or less, larvae emerge and begin to eat surrounding plant matter. Wireworms may remain larvae for one to six years before changing into adults, depending on their species.

Commonly Asked Questions

Why do I have click beetles?

There are several different species of click beetles in Canada, six of which are destructive crop pests, due to the voracious appetites of their larvae.

Click beetles like to lay their eggs in bright, cultivated fields, among weeds or cereal crops, giving the larvae an immediate food source when they hatch a week later.

The larvae are attracted to the seeds and roots of crops like potatoes, beans, cotton, corn, wheat, carrots, beets, melons, onions, and strawberries. Turf grasses and ornamental plants can also be food sources for the growing wireworms.

By contrast, adult click beetles only feed on nectar, pollen, flowers, and soft-bodied pest insects like aphids.

Adult click beetles are attracted to light, but usually only invade buildings near the fields where they live, seeking shelter or looking for prey, rather than breeding or feeding.

They tend to enter your home through holes in doors or window screens, or gaps around windows, doors, eaves, and chimneys.

How worried should I be about click beetles?

In yards and gardens, click beetle larvae can harm fruits, vegetables, decorative plant bulbs, or lawn turf by drilling into tubers or eating away roots.

Given that click beetles can remain in the larvae stage for up to six years before developing into adults, they can cause significant damage year after year if not eradicated.

Adult click beetles are more of a nuisance. They do not bite, but their loud clicking sound and sudden flips can be startling.

If you decide to try one of the pesticides on the market to eradicate click beetles, make sure to choose one registered and labelled for that purpose, and follow the directions carefully. For a truly safe solution to your click beetle problem, you need a professional pest control service.

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