It's palo verde beetle season in Arizona

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- It's monsoon season in Arizona and you're probably seeing some big bugs that look like cockroaches.

They're not cockroaches, but they are palo verde beetles! They have spiny collars, long antennae, and they fly.

"Palo verde beetles can get anywhere from 3 to 4 inches in length. They're huge," said Dustin Williams.

Williams owns Green Mango Pest Control in Gilbert and says his phone has been ringing off the hook with questions.

"People in Arizona are used to the scorpions, the little American roaches, but with the 4-inch palo verde they call and say what the heck is going on," said Williams.

Palo verde are one of the largest beetles in North America. They live underground for the first three years of their lives, eating the roots of the palo verde trees.

When monsoon season comes around and the weather changes, the adult beetles finally come out.

Their main goal is to mate.

"As soon as they mate, they die. I've seen about a month, maybe, is their lifespan after they come out of the ground, " said Williams.

So what do you do if you see one?

"If it bothers you, it will go away! It's no harm to you whatsoever. Just let it do its thing, stay out of its way, it's going to die soon. It's actually enjoying its last few days of life, " said Williams.

Palo verde beetles are expected to stick around until the end of August.