Why are groups of black beetles showing up in the Phoenix area?

People across the Valley have noticed a lot of black beetles crawling around this week.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 10:26 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - If you’ve noticed black beetles crawling around this week, you’re not alone. Some in the Valley have said they’ve seen hundreds, even thousands, of these beetles crawling inside and outside! “It’s been a lot of scared people freaking about hundreds upon thousands of beetles entering their home the last two or three days,” said Mike Boyle, with Burns Pest Elimination.

Boyle says after the monsoon rains this past weekend, he’s been a busy man. “It went crazy Monday, Tuesday, and even today,” Boyle said. “It’s going everywhere. We had to send out an alert to our employees: here’s what’s going on; it’s ok.”

Well, it may not be okay for homeowners who find these ground beetles taking over their homes. Beetles, which Butterfly Wonderland entomologist Derek Kellogg says don’t even want to be there. “They’re not something that gets along terribly well with humans, they’re really just after other insects,” Kellogg said. “Because that’s their man source of food.”

Kellogg says the moisture from the monsoon storms likely led the beetles to emerge from their pupa state, ready to soak up the moisture and mate before dying shortly after. “They’re really not going to do anything,” he said. “And as soon as they disperse on out, you probably won’t even notice them again.”

Some ways to get them out of the house include sealing up any cracks and, in severe cases, having an exterminator vacuum the beetles. Boyle expects more beetle sightings for another week or two before it’s on to the next crawly critter. “Their life cycle is very cyclical, so this is the time of year they are coming out,” Boyle said. “And it will slowly taper off. And then we’ll get some other kind of pest that will freak everybody out. Palo Verde beetles are next I think.”