Darkling Beetle Facts – Tips On Getting Rid Of Darkling Beetles
The darklings are small insects that look like tiny black ants. They are not dangerous but they do make your house smell bad. You may have noticed them crawling around in the corners or under the furniture in your home. These little bugs don’t bite, but they will suck blood from you if you touch them too much. They are very annoying pests.
You might think that you can just kill them with a broom or dustpan, but it won’t work because these things aren’t strong enough to crush the bug. Also, if you use chemicals to kill them, they will die after some time.
So what can you do?
There are several ways to get rid of these little critters:
1) You could spray insecticidal soap on the cracks and crevices where they crawl around.
If you do this, then you will definitely get rid of them.
2) You could try using vinegar to kill them.
However, you need to watch out since it can cause damage to your skin and eyes.
3) You could put a plastic bag over the cracks and crevices where they crawl around so that they cannot escape into your home.
This method works well when there are many of them crawling around in one place.
4) You could leave a sheet out and hope that they crawl on it or into it.
Then you can seal it up in a plastic bag and throw in the trash.
Darkling beetles have many cousins that also look like them, but they are not the same. One type of beetle looks very similar to the darkling beetle, but it is much larger. This one is called the rhinoceros beetle. This one can be black, green or even yellow. Another type of beetle that looks similar is the tortoise beetle.
This one is a little smaller than the darkling beetle and it has a gold shell on its back. A rather large beetle lives in South America that also looks similar to the darkling beetle. This one is called the goliath beetle. It is at least 3 or 4 times larger than the average darkling beetle and it can easily smash one if it wanted to.
Darkling beetle eggs hatch in the dirt after about a month. The baby darkling beetles, which are called larvae, are white and worm-like. They grow very quickly and will shed their skin several times before becoming adults. They can eat the stalks and leaves of plants as well as small bugs like worms and insects. Darkling beetles become adults about one month after they hatch from their eggs.
Adult darkling beetles do not have a mouth so they can neither eat nor drink. If they were able to do these things, they would probably live a little longer than one month. They usually only live long enough to mate and then the female lay eggs before dying. The life span of the average adult darkling beetle is only about one month. Darkling beetles grow slowly and do not reach sexual maturity until their third or fourth months of life.
Darkling beetles live under rocks and logs during the day and come out at night to eat. They often hide under things so that they can surprise their prey. They will eat just about any kind of food. Some people think that they only eat plants, but this is not true. They will eat small insects, meat and things that have been dead for a very long time.
Darkling beetles do not have teeth, so they can not bite their food. Instead, they catch their food and squish it in their claws. When they crush their food, a juice leaks out and this is what they drink. When they squish really big prey, the carcasses often leak a lot of yummy juice that the darkling eats.
Darkling beetles mate in a special way that is different from most other insects. The male and female stand back to back. Each one curls their abdomen in a circle until the tip of the males abdomen touches the females abdomen. Then he releases a drop of liquid inside her. The male darkling beetle does not stay with the female after they mate.
He just goes off by himself and finds a place to hide because other animals might eat him if he is not careful!
Most of the time the female lays her eggs in the soil. She can lay between 40 and 60 white eggs at a time. The babies that hatch look like tiny adults and are able to walk, run and even eat small insects immediately. Darkling beetle babies grow very quickly. They reach adult size after 5 months.
Darkling beetle adults can live for up to 8 months.
These insects cannot fly. They walk around by rolling and they cannot climb smooth surfaces such as glass. They are good at camouflaging themselves and making tents out of whatever is available–even leaves or garbage!
Darkling beetles have 6 legs and 3 sets of wings. Their wings are rough so they can’t fly very well, but they can still glide a little bit. Darkling beetle adults are between 1 and 2 inches long. They have an armor shell and can be either dark blue, dark brown or black in color. Darkling beetle babies do not have wings and their shells are a different color.
They are usually a light tan or white color with darker stripes.
When they are born, darkling beetles babies do not look like the adults at all!
Can you guess what they look like?
That’s right, they look just like the eggs until they hatch!
Now you know almost everything there is to know about darkling beetles!
What do you think about darkling beetles?
Do you have any questions?
Do you have any other insect questions?
I hope you will think about darkling beetles a little bit more the next time you see one. Perhaps you will even smile at the sight of one, knowing how interesting they are!
Recently, on an airplane trip, I saw this on the in-flight magazine….and it just made me smile.So, just for you, my lovely readers, here it is. =)
Sources & references used in this article:
How does habitat patch size affect animal movement? An experiment with darkling beetles by NE McIntyre, JA Wiens – Ecology, 1999 – Wiley Online Library
Vector Abatement Plan-Darkling Beetles by J Adams – J. Adams. CAMM Poultry, 2003 – clemson.edu
Fog-basking behaviour and water collection efficiency in Namib Desert Darkling beetles by T Nørgaard, M Dacke – Frontiers in zoology, 2010 – Springer