Beetles are diverse, with an estimated 350,000 species worldwide and about 17,000 in the United States alone. Beetles make up about 25% of all known animal species in North America!
Luckily, only around 180 different types of beetles in Ohio are considered pests or harmful to humans or the environment.
The most commonly found beetle in Ohio is the lady beetles ladybug, which feeds on aphids and other insects harmful to crops and ornamental plants.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common ones you may run into, along with their diet and where they’re typically found.
1. Ant-like Longhorn Beetle
The most common beetle in Ohio is the Ant-like Longhorn Beetle, located on deciduous trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, and other woody plants.
You can find this beetle during all four seasons of the year. Adults are dark brown or black with long antennas resembling an ant’s antennae.
Larvae are cream-colored but turn to a brownish color as they mature. The larvae feed on dead insects on the ground, while adults feed on living insects, including ants, beetles, and caterpillars. Some types of ants will even protect these beetles from predators.
If you see one of these beetles in your home, it is essential to identify whether or not it’s harmful. For example, if you have problems with termites, the types of beetles in Ohio could be there for the same reason.
2. Antelope Beetle
Due to their large size and distinctive markings, antelope beetles are one of the most recognizable. Antelope beetle adults are black with two orange stripes on their wing covers. The adults can grow up to 1/2 inch long, more prominent than many other types of beetles.
Antelope beetle larvae, which grow up to 3/4 inch long, are black with white spots on the head that resemble a skull.
These types of beetles in Ohio eat various plants, including grasses, vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, and weeds. One study found that an antelope beetle could consume nearly 100 aphids per day!
In Ohio, there are at least seven types of beetles (some estimates put the number as high as twenty-three) that you may find in your garden or near your home.
Most beetles do not threaten people much, but some varieties will sting if they come into contact with human skin, while others will eat our clothes, furniture, and food supplies. Knowing how to identify these beetles is essential to keep ourselves safe!
3. Acorn Weevil
Acorn weevil is a type of beetle that is found in Ohio. These beetles are found on oak trees, as the name implies. Acorn Weaves feed on acorns by chewing through the shells with their jaws.
It needs to be clarified what other plants this type of beetle eats. What does the kind of beetle eat? The type of beetle that is called an acorn weevil feeds on acorns.
It needs to be clarified what other plants this type of beetle eats. What do they look like? The adults range in size from 1/8-inch to 3/4-inch long, while the larvae range from 1/2-inch to 1-inch long.
Adults have six legs, which become functional when the larvae become adults. Unlike other types of beetles in Ohio, which mainly feed on foliage and stems of plants, these insects mainly feed on plant seeds or nuts. Adult acorn weevils measure about 1/8 inch to 3/4 inch in length.
The larvae are usually 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. Adult insects have six legs; however, the larvae don’t use them until they reach adulthood.
These types of beetles can be greenish-black, yellowish-brown, or dark red. Like other types of bugs in Ohio, adult acorn weevils primarily feed on seed or nut material for food;
4. Beetle Grub
Grubs are the larvae stage of beetles. The type of beetle will depend on what they eat as a grub. Carpet beetle grubs, for example, eat wool carpets.
Clothing beetles consume natural fabrics like cotton or silk. In Ohio, there are three beetle grubs: the carpet beetle grub, the clothing beetle grub, and the furniture beetle grub. There is also a dung beetle grub found in cow patties.
The larvae of this insect will consume rotting plants and feces, leaving behind more nutrients that fertilize the soil.
Some of the types of beetles in Ohio species have been known to provide pest control by eating fly eggs laid in cow patties that would otherwise turn into maggots or disease-carrying flies. The dung beetle grubs are about 2mm long when fully grown.
Other than their size, these little bugs look very similar to other beetle grubs because they both have six legs and one pair of wings (nymphal stage). It’s not uncommon to find them in your garden because their parents lay their eggs nearby food sources.
You may have seen them before, but you wouldn’t know because they burrow underground most of the time. When you see a bug burrowing, it could be either an adult beetle or a grub.
5. Black Blister Beetle
Many beetles live in the state, but the Black Blister Beetle is less harmful. The Black Blister Beetle prefers to eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, and meat. Typically they will be found on trees or shrubs where they feed on dead material like leaves.
They pose no threat to people or property if you don’t disturb them by picking fruit from a tree. In general, black blister beetles are not very aggressive and do not attack humans.
If their nest is concerned, these beetles can release a yellowish-orange substance that can cause blisters if it comes into contact with skin.
It may also cause an allergic reaction in those who are sensitive. For this reason, this type of beetle should not be handled or disturbed. Like all other beetles in Ohio, the Black Blister Beetle should be left alone.
These types of beetles in Ohio prefer eating vegetables, fruits, and nuts. One way to tell if there is a Black Blister Beetle infestation in your yard is when you see piles of cast-off skins on plants or food items.
To avoid being bitten by these bugs, keep the area clean of any leftover food items or trash.
6. Rove Beetles
Another common type is a rove beetle. You may recognize these brown beetles by their scaled-back, but if you don’t look closely, you might confuse them for a ladybug.
These types of beetles in Ohio have microscopic patterns on their wing covers—the elytra—but have small patches ranging from white to orange to red.
The most common one found around homes is called Prosternon tessellated, or a tiger beetle. They get their name from the tiger-like stripes on their body that are more visible when squashed on your wall for weeks (oops).
These beetles are predators that eat aphids and other garden pests, making them friends with gardeners!
If you notice these types of beetles in Ohio running around the plants in your garden, there are lots of prey available.
Rove beetles also love eating caterpillars and weevils, so they can also help protect your plants! So next time you see an unexpected visitor crawling around your flower bed, take a closer look to see what kind of beetle they are.
And while they usually eat plant material, many types of rove beetles, like mites and other insects, as food sources. If they aren’t carrying plant diseases into your garden, welcome those furry friends with open arms!
7. Dung Beetle
Some dung beetles can bury 250 times their mass in one night. They feed on feces. Some dung beetles have evolved to use the animal’s droppings as a food source.
Other types will take the animal’s droppings, roll it into a ball, and then use it for nourishment by feeding off it as they continue to move it into an even giant ball.
These insects are called coprophages or fecal eaters. These dung beetles are found in warmer regions where cows and pigs produce a lot of manure.
These types of beetles in Ohio use feces because plants would be scarce in warm environments with high temperatures and dry conditions.
Dung beetle larvae also require nutrient-poor substrates for their development. The other name for these insects is scarab which means to decay.
8. Desert Stink Beetle
Ohio has many different beetles, but the Desert Stink Beetle is unique to the desert. These beetles are well-known for their foul smell, which they release to deter predators. The scent can be likened to rotten cilantro or spoiled milk mixed with vinegar.
If you find a Desert Stink Beetle crawling on your arm, it may not cause any harm–they only release their odor if they feel threatened by something nearby.
Otherwise, it may crawl onto you just out of curiosity and nothing more! Many people find these types of beetles in Ohio fascinating because they have an unusual defense mechanism.
But don’t worry too much–their stink doesn’t last long, and most animals don’t seem to mind them all that much.
Many people find these beetles fascinating because they have an unusual defense mechanism. But don’t worry too much–their stink doesn’t last long, and most animals don’t seem to mind them all that much.
9. Tiger Beetles
They eat smaller insects, such as ants and termites. There are many different species, but only a few live in Ohio. The most common type is the orange-spotted tiger beetle, which lives primarily in woodland areas.
There are about 400 species around the world. In the United States, there are over 250 known species of tiger beetles. In Ohio alone, there are 18 types of tiger beetles that experts have identified at Kenyon College.
These types of beetles in Ohio have bright colors on their elytra (hardened forewings) to warn potential predators that they can give a painful bite or sting.
Tiger beetles typically inhabit open fields and meadows where they hunt for prey on sunny days during the morning or evening hours. All tiger beetles are fierce predators and will attack any tiny insect that passes close enough.
Some types lay eggs under tree bark, logs, or leaves, while others attach them to grass stems near ant nests or colonies.
Some can be found along shorelines eating small animals like snails and worms or aquatic insects like dragonflies and mayflies.
A few are found near wetlands hunting tadpoles and frogs. Insects make up almost 90% of the diet of tiger beetles because they prefer soft-bodied invertebrates such as flies, aphids, bees, wasps, and spiders.
10. Ground Beetles
Ground beetles (family Carabidae) are important predatory insects in many agricultural and garden settings. Ground beetles can be found under logs, stones, or plants on the soil surface, in leaf litter, and among bark scales.
Many types of ground beetle can be seen flying around at night during summer months with a lantern or flashlight.
These beetles in Ohio often fly toward any light source when disturbed, sometimes providing an excellent opportunity to observe these elusive animals up close! Like other predaceous beetles, ground beetles feed primarily on other insects. Their most common prey include roaches, slugs, snails, and earwigs.
These types of beetles in Ohio also eat invertebrates, including millipedes, centipedes, and sowbugs. Occasionally they may consume small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs, and mice.
Ground beetles use their powerful jaws to bite and chew food items into manageable pieces.
Once ingested, food is digested through enzymes produced by organs called malpighian tubules that line the gut walls.
The only time a ground beetle will bite a human is if one has walked across its nest while gardening or walking outside after dark when they fly out of their hiding places looking for mates.
11. Scarab Beetles
There are approximately 30,000 species of scarab beetles (insect order Coleoptera) that are compact and heavy-bodied insects with robustly oval shapes.
Adult Scarab Beetles feed on plants like leaves and flowers, but the larvae eat decaying vegetation, animal carcasses, dung, and other organic materials found in soil.
The family groups for Scarab Beetles can be broken down into subfamilies: Cybister beetles have cylindrical bodies that are wider than they are long; Dynastinae have elongated bodies with pointed tips; Phanae have narrow bodies that are mainly parallel to the ground; Geotrupinae have slim bodies like Phone, but they tend to be more colorful; Aphodiinae resemble Dynastinae, but they often live near water or moist areas.
Mycetophilidae is a group of medium-sized beetles resembling Scarab Beetles because they also feed on fungi but are not closely related.
12. Long-Horned Beetle
Another type of beetle found in Ohio is called a long-horned beetle. These types of beetles in Ohio are commonly seen during the late summer and fall months.
While their appearance might seem intimidating to some people, they are harmless because they do not bite or sting humans.
Like Ant-like Longhorn Beetles, Long-Horned beetles feed on other insects such as ants. Unlike the Ant-Like Longhorns, these beetles have a few specific food sources that depend on the insect’s habitat.
Some common foods for these insects include ants, crickets, flies, and cockroaches. Some can survive up to two years without food, while others need to eat almost constantly!
The female has a slightly different body shape than the male; she has an ovipositor near her rear end that she uses to lay eggs inside dead wood and tree bark while her mate guards her against predators.
The males have horns extending out and curling downward along their heads and thorax. Adults only live about six weeks, but many offspring are produced with each mating, so it is easy to see how this species stays around despite its short lifespan.
13. Eastern Eyed Click Beetle
Most beetles will eat leaves, fruit, or other plant material. The Eastern Eyed Click Beetle is no exception to this rule. These types of beetles in Ohio will eat leaves and plants before overwintering for the season.
They are also known to eat maple trees as well! Some people even say that these insects help with decomposition.
However, because they feed on many different plants, some can cause significant damage to crops like maize, soybean, and coffee beans.
These insects are about 2-4 mm long and have a yellowish-brown bodies. Their head has a triangular shape with a pointy nose.
The types of beetles in Ohio have large eyes that look like they’re looking at you from their side profile (thus giving them their name).
When you see one, what should you do? Well, the best thing is to identify it first and check if it’s harmful to your environment before deciding what action needs to be taken. If not, let it go. It is the merry way!
It would be best if you put traps out to catch any other potential invaders. If you think the beetle poses an environmental threat, don’t hesitate to destroy it.
14. Fire-colored Beetle
Fire-colored beetles eat everything from mushrooms, snails, and lichens to decaying leaves. The larvae spend most of their time feeding on various types of fungi that live on the forest floor.
Their legs are long and slender, so they can fit into cracks in tree trunks where fungi grow, but they can also move fast when they need to escape predators.
In addition to the different food sources this type of beetle eats, it also has a very unusual defense mechanism: its body is filled with cyanide!
If a predator bites into a fire-colored beetle larva’s body, it releases cyanide, making its attacker flee quickly. Sometimes these types of beetles in Ohio make homes out of old animal burrows or underneath rocks.
The older the animal’s burrow is, the more likely these little bugs will live inside. Fire-colored beetle larvae spend up to three years underground before they turn into adults. During this stage, they do not eat anything at all.
Beetles are an essential part of the ecosystem because they help decompose matter. Some beetles will eat other insects, while others will eat plants. One type of beetle that is found in Ohio is the ground beetle.
This species likes to live on the ground near streams or ponds, where many ants feed on. These types of beetles in Ohio love ants! Another type of beetle that can be found in Ohio is the firefly larva.
Fireflies have special bioluminescence that makes them glow at night; this light comes from a chemical reaction that occurs when oxygen mixes with a substance called luciferin.
Fireflies use their light for many purposes, including finding mates and luring prey like flies into sticky traps on their legs.
Although fireflies may not seem like they need camouflage, they do so that predators cannot find them easily during the day. When you spot a glowing insect after dark, it will most likely be one of these little creatures!