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Learn About Beetles

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General Overview Of Beetles

The beetle is the largest of all insect species orders. With about 400,000 different known species, the beetle makes up about 40 percent of all insects and about 25 percent of all known animal life forms. And that’s just the beetle species we currently know about! New beetles are being discovered all the time. It is estimated that there may be upwards of 12 million beetle species out there waiting to be discovered.

What Do Beetles Look Like?

Beetles are easily recognizable by their hardened forewings. These forewings act as a kind of armor to protect the more fragile flight wings as well as their abdomen underneath. When beetles fly, these forewings (called elytra) are held out to the sides which allow their hindwings the freedom to move in the precise way that keeps them aloft. 

Just as there are a tremendous number of beetle species on Earth, so are there many different sizes of the insect itself. Beetles range in size from almost microscopic to a species of beetle that can reach almost 7 inches in length. Featherwing beetles are the smallest at only 0.01 to 0.16 inches long, or about a quarter of the length of a grain of rice. 

Beetles have three body sections, including a head, thorax and abdomen. Their skeleton resides outside their body, providing support and protection. While beetles come in many different shapes and colors, their body shape is primarily oval or elongated and most are black or brown, though some come in brilliant colors and elaborate patterns. 

What Do Beetles Eat?

Beetles eat all organic material from wild and garden plants, to pollen, to leaves, fruits, stems, nuts, roots, algal film and even construction material, harvested grain and stored food. They eat grosser things too, like dung, animal carcasses, rotten wood, other invertebrates and even other beetles. 

The Importance of Beetles

Beetles are found everywhere on the globe with the exception of the polar regions and in the sea. Beetles are essential to every ecosystem of which they are a part. The health of beetles can be a great indicator of such things as freshwater quality. They act as bioindicators of long-term habitat persistence of threatened habitats and a great measure of regional biodiversity. 

Beetle infestations can be harmful to both indoor and outdoor elements of your home.  Outdoor they can damage wooden fences, awnings, decks, shutters, gutters and more.  If gone unchecked inside the home, they can cause damage leading to thousands of dollars of home repair to walls, ceilings or even your home’s foundation. 

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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