A Clumsy Acrobat

Click Beetles are best known for the acrobatic click flip they do in order to get back on their feet. This beetle is usually about ½” to 1” long, with hard shell bodies, two – main sections of a body and six legs. Although the adult Click Beetle is not categorized as much of a pest in Nashville, they will invade your homes at night trough cracks and crevices. Being nocturnal during the warm months, they are drawn to light, thus the reason they can find their way into your home. They usually live in wood piles, soil, mulch and around on the ground where they feed on roots, nectar, flowers, seeds or aphids. More than likely though, you will only encounter one, by hearing the loud clicking noise they make if they are upside down on your wood or tile floor trying to get them back erect. No need to worry though, as they are generally harmless and you can simply scoop them up and let them back outside where they belong.

Although the adult Click Beetle is not a pest or harmful, their larvae can be a pest to crops. As they mate, and the female eventually lay eggs, the eggs hatch into larvae. These larvae are called wire worms and can be harmful as they eat and damage the roots and leaves of Corn Crops. They can take one year to three years to develop from larvae to adult, so a lot of eating and damage can be done to these crops as they grow. Producing up to two generations a year and depending on species, they have a lifespan of one to three years. During their lifespan living on the ground, they are prey to different predators such as birds, moles, spiders and lizards. So, they also contribute to the food chain.

The Click Beetle‘s most interesting characteristic is the clicking mechanism that they posses. They have a snap or notch between the first and second section of their thorax. When threatened or touched the Click Beetle will play dead, and quickly roll over on its back. The problem is that they do not have long enough legs, or maneuverability to roll back over. So the Click Beetle bends in a way that allows the notch and pin to become unlocked and release a powerful click. This click catapults the beetle two to ten inches into the air to get back on their feet. The only issue with this ingenious ability is that other than controlling the actual click, they cannot control how far or where they will click. So, in self defense the Click Beetle pretends to be dead and lays on its back, then begins the random gamble of being able to accurately get back to its feet. As they click far up in the air, they are like uncontrollable acrobats doing somersaults. Studies have shown the beetle to accomplish four to six flips end over end, until they land. Therefore it is by absolute random odds that they actually land upright and may take several tries before they are successful.

The Click Beetle is an interesting and clumsy acrobat to observe, but not a Nashville Pest Control problem for homeowners. If you notice other pests that have wandered their way into your home, call Certified Pest Control Nashville to perform a free inspection to define and address your issue. Our local family is pleased to serve our neighbors, and give you a level of service that will make you happy to become part of our extended family.

 

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