Beetle Garden Pests: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you tired of dealing with pesky beetles munching away on your garden plants? Beetles are notorious for causing damage to various types of crops and ornamental plants. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss some of the most common beetle garden pests, including their characteristics and how to identify them. So, let’s dive right in!

Asian Lady Beetle

The Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) might look like a harmless, beneficial ladybug, but don’t be fooled! These invasive beetles can cause damage to fruit crops, and they’re known to bite humans. They have a distinctive “M” or “W” shaped marking on their pronotum (the area behind the head), which can help you distinguish them from native ladybugs.

Asparagus Beetle

Asparagus beetles (Crioceris asparagi) are small, colorful beetles that feed on asparagus plants. The adults are metallic blue-black with red or yellow markings, while the larvae are grayish-green. These pests can cause significant damage to asparagus plants by defoliating them and leaving behind scarred spears.

Bean Leaf Beetle

The bean leaf beetle (Cerotoma trifurcata) is a small, oval-shaped beetle that attacks bean plants. They’re typically yellow, orange, or red with black markings on their wing covers. Bean leaf beetles can cause significant damage to bean plants by chewing holes in the leaves and feeding on the pods.

Blister Beetle

Blister beetles (Meloidae) are a family of beetles that contain a toxic substance called cantharidin. When crushed or disturbed, they can release this toxin, which causes blisters on the skin. Blister beetles can be various colors and sizes, and they can damage plants by defoliating them.

Colorado Potato Beetle

The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is a significant pest for potato growers. These beetles are easily identifiable by their distinctive yellow and black striped wing covers. They can cause severe damage to potato plants by defoliating them and feeding on the tubers.

Corn Rootworm

Corn rootworms (Diabrotica spp.) are a group of beetles that cause damage to corn plants during their larval stage. The larvae feed on the roots of corn plants, which can cause the plants to become stunted and eventually die. Adult corn rootworms are small, yellow-green beetles with black markings.

Cucumber Beetle

Cucumber beetles (Acalymma vittatum and Diabrotica undecimpunctata) are small, yellow beetles with black markings that feed on various plants in the cucurbit family, such as cucumbers, squash, and melons. These beetles can cause damage by feeding on leaves, flowers, and fruits, as well as transmitting bacterial wilt and other diseases.


Curculios (Conotrachelus spp.) are small, weevil-like beetles that cause damage to fruit trees, including apples, pears, and stone fruits. The female curculios lay eggs in the developing fruit, causing the fruit to become deformed and drop prematurely. Curculios have a distinctive snout and can be challenging to control.

Flea Beetle

Flea beetles (Chrysomelidae) are tiny, jumping beetles that can cause significant damage to a variety of plants. They’re named after their jumping ability, which resembles the behavior of fleas. Flea beetles chew small holes in leaves, giving them a “shot hole” appearance. These pests can be challenging to control due to their mobility and wide host range.

Japanese Beetle

The Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) is an invasive species that has become a significant pest in North America. These metallic green beetles with copper-colored wing covers feed on a wide range of plants, including roses, grapes, and many fruit trees. They can cause extensive damage by skeletonizing leaves, leaving behind only the veins.

Lily Leaf Beetle

The lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii) is a bright red beetle that feeds exclusively on true lilies (Lilium spp.) and fritillaries (Fritillaria spp.). Both the adults and larvae can cause severe damage to lilies by defoliating the plants and feeding on the flowers and buds.

Mexican Bean Beetle

The Mexican bean beetle (Epilachna varivestis) is a close relative of the ladybug but is a destructive pest of bean plants. These copper-colored beetles with black spots on their wing covers can cause significant damage by skeletonizing leaves and feeding on bean pods.

Sweet Potato Weevil

The sweet potato weevil (Cylas formicarius) is a small, dark-colored weevil that attacks sweet potatoes. The larvae bore into the tubers, causing extensive damage and making them inedible. Sweet potato weevils can be difficult to control due to their cryptic habits and ability to reproduce rapidly.


How do I get rid of little black beetles in my garden?

To get rid of little black beetles in your garden, you can try methods such as manually removing them, using insecticidal soap or neem oil, and practicing good garden hygiene.

What are the tiny black beetles in my garden soil?

The tiny black beetles in your garden soil are likely to be ground beetles, which are generally considered beneficial insects as they feed on other pests and help to aerate the soil.

What is a natural bug repellent for beetles?

Some natural bug repellents for beetles include diatomaceous earth, essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and cedarwood, and companion planting with plants that beetles dislike, such as garlic or marigolds.

What do backyard beetles eat?

Backyard beetles have a varied diet, but most feed on plants, fruits, and decaying organic matter. Some species, such as ladybugs, are beneficial predators that feed on other insects.

How do I permanently get rid of black carpet beetles?

To permanently get rid of black carpet beetles, you need to identify and remove their food source, which is usually carpets, clothing, or other natural fibers. Vacuuming regularly and using insecticides can also help to eliminate them.

What bug looks like a tiny black dot?

Several bugs look like tiny black dots, including black aphids, flea beetles, and spider mites. These pests can damage plants and crops and should be controlled with appropriate measures.

What are black cleaner beetles?

Black cleaner beetles, also known as carrion beetles, are scavenger insects that feed on decaying matter, such as dead animals. They play an important role in nature by helping to break down organic material.

What kills flea beetles in the garden?

Flea beetles can be killed using insecticidal soap or neem oil, which suffocate and dehydrate them. Other natural remedies include diatomaceous earth, companion planting with trap crops, and using row covers to protect plants.

What beetle destroys crops?

Several types of beetles can destroy crops, including the Colorado potato beetle, cucumber beetle, and Japanese beetle. These pests can be controlled with insecticides, cultural practices, and other integrated pest management strategies.

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