Click beetle bite, Sound, Larvae, Control

| October 23, 2017

Learn all about the click beetle bite, sound, larvae and the control over beetles. One of the most fascinating creatures in the insect world is the Alaus oculatus, or eastern eyed click beetle, from the family Elateridae. They have this name because their black-and-white mottled body includes two large black spots encircled by white that resemble eyes, presumably to frighten predators.

You might think that these beetles don’t look very scary; but click beetles have a unique behavior that announces their presence in a startling way. When threatened or flipped upside down, click beetles use a special peg-like structure on their underside to force a quick snapping action between the front and hind body sections. The motion is fast, and works much like someone snapping their fingers. The action causes the beetle to making a clicking noise and flip up into the air, often several inches.

There are several different species of click beetles in Canada, six of which are destructive crop pests. The clicking sound made by click beetles is beneficial for them in some ways. While this helps them escape predators, it can also startle residents when the pests move into homes, gardens, and yard.

In hot weather, Click beetles are prone to enter people’s houses at night if entrances such as windows are left opened. The larvae of a few species, called ‘wireworms’, can be serious pests of corn and other grains, especially after a field has been left fallow (a field that has been left to grow naturally without help from nutrients or farming).

The best solution for click beetles, or any similar occasional invader, is not pesticides. Rather it’s to figure out where the insect is invading and how it is getting in. Larger insects usually come in under doorways, especially doors with glass (through which lights shine at night) or doors next to porch lights. This may be a good excuse to have a handyman or energy auditor come out and seal those doors along with other cracks around windows and foundations.

Click beetle bite, Sound, Larvae, Control

What is Click beetle

Click beetle (family Elateridae), also called skipjack, snapping beetle, or spring beetle, any of approximately 7,000 species of beetles (insect order Coleoptera) named for the clicking noise made when seized by a predator. Most click beetles range between 2.5 and 18 mm (less than 0.75 inch) in length and are brown or black in colour with either little or no ornamentation. However, some tropical species are brightly coloured or luminescent. Click beetles have elongated bodies with parallel sides and bluntly rounded ends.

Click beetle bite Pain & Treatment

Beetles have chewing mouthparts so, technically, they can bite. Some species have well-developed jaws or mandibles used for catching and consuming prey. Others use these to defend themselves from predators. These beetles are harmless to humans and they don’t bite, unless you bother them a great deal. Other beetles chew and consume wood. Apply an ice pack to a bite for 15 to 20 minutes once an hour for the first 6 hours. Elevate the area of the bite to decrease swelling. An antihistamine taken by mouth such as Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton may help in relieving itching, redness, and swelling. Don’t give antihistamines to your child unless you’ve checked with the doctor first.

Click beetle Sound

Click beetles produce a clicking sound. While adult click beetles are harmless, they do have a somewhat frightening characteristic. When threatened or turned upside down, they use a specialized structure on their underside that forces a rapid snapping action between the front and rear sections of their body. This snap is very quick and is similar to someone snapping his or her fingers and causes the beetle to make a clicking noise and flip up into the air.

Click beetle Larvae

Click beetle larvae have a hard exoskeleton and are known as wireworms because of their long, slender, cylindrical shape. They can be destructive plant pests, attacking seeds, plant roots, and underground stems. The larvae live in the soil from two to six years. The plowing of fields in the fall can cut open the pupal case and destroy the wireworms. If necessary, applications of appropriate insecticides may help control wireworm populations.

Click beetle Control

Click beetles can be controlled by 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.

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