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You don’t need to be an exterminator to have heard of beetles. However, it might take an exterminator to identify varying species. Doing such will be quite the task, given the fact that beetles belong to the largest order of insects in the world. This order is known as the Coleoptera. It is not only the size of the beetle family that makes them difficult to identify. It is also the fact that there are so many varying sizes and shapes of beetles.
With the size of the beetle order and the varying shapes and sizes, you can likely already imagine how difficult identification would be. Proper identification will be key to successfully and thoroughly eliminating beetles from your home. Unfortunately, identification is harder than most would imagine. Knowing exactly what to look for can help.
The Legs And Body Parts
Most people already know from grade school science that different species of insects feature different numbers of legs. Knowing the number of legs of the beetle you are dealing with could help you identify the specific species. One interesting fact that you might not be aware of is that all insects have three body regions. In order for a bug or animal to be considered a true insect, it must have these three body parts.
These are the head, the abdomen, and the thorax. In addition to the three-body parts, all beetles have six legs. If you are looking at a critter that has three body regions, but eight legs, you aren’t looking at a beetle.
Identifying The Wings
The wings are another identifying aspect that can help you determine the type of bug you are dealing with. Maybe what you have doesn’t even have wings. Well, that could be a huge identifying marker. Look closely at the wing as well as the wing covers. One interesting aspect of the beetle family is that they usually have two pairs of wings. One is technically identified as the elytra or forewings.
These are usually considered the main wings, as the second pair will be folded underneath. You know how when you step on a beetle, it makes a crunching sound? It is these wings and their placement of them on the beetle that cause the crunching sound.
Does It Crawl Or Fly?
While all beetles have wings, it doesn’t necessarily mean they use them. Some species of beetles have wings but can’t fly or never choose to fly. Some just use the wings as a protective cloaking or defense mechanism. If the beetle flies or not can tell you a lot about the insect. With all that being said, most beetles do not fly. There are only a few select beetle species that possess the ability to fly and choose to use it.
What About The Mouthparts?
If you roll an insect on its back, you’ll be facing its mouthparts. Most beetles have mouthparts equipped for chewing. They are similar to that of the grasshopper. Some beetles also have what is known as mandibles or pincers. As you can imagine, these are used for trapping and killing prey. Being able to identify these parts and properly identify them will uncover tons about the insect you are dealing with.