How to Identify Black Beetles in Northeastern USA

By Jennifer Leigh
Black beetles eat many pests such as aphids and slugs.
black beetle image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com

Black beetles comprise many species of beetle that are black in color. In the northeastern part of the USA, which include the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, black carpet beetles are predominant. These beetles sometimes infiltrate homes to find natural fibers and other food to eat. Black beetles breed in the late summer, and they bury their larvae under the soil where they live through the winter. The larvae turn into adult beetles during the spring, arriving in full adult stage in the northeastern USA at the beginning of the summer.

Look for oval-shaped beetles approximately 3/16-inch long. They are black or dark reddish-brown in color.

Check to see if the insect has brown legs, as black beetles have this characteristic. Also, check to see if the first segment of the tarsi of the hind legs is shorter than the second segment.

Look for black beetle larvae, which are carrot-shaped and approximately 1/2-inch long. They are brown or orange with a sprout of brown hair coming out of the end. The larvae can be found in northeast USA in the spring and early summer.

Check the kitchen cupboards in your house and in areas where natural fibers such as wool and silk exist. Black carpet beetles, in particular, thrive in these areas.

Look in your yard under rocks or tree branches as black beetles often live in these areas, particularly in the summer in the northeastern portion of the USA.