Bug Off Pest -  Sawtooth beetles

Sawtooth beetles are garden pests that resemble adult ladybugs. These beetles are called sawtooths because of the tooth-like projections on their wings which are used to ward off would-be predators. They are black in color with large red, orange or yellow spots.

Sawtooth beetles are found in temperate climates in North America and Europe, but they thrive particularly well in hot summer months. The beetle is a voracious plant-eater that feeds on the leaves of plants including columbines, violet, honeysuckle, lily, and tomatoes. These beetles also feed on the flowers of some species of lilies.

Sawtooth beetles are often active in late summer and early fall, this is when you will find them congregating on the plants they eat. This can be a nuisance for gardeners who want to enjoy their flowers without bugs munching on them. It can also become an infestation when many beetles are found in the same place which can defoliate the plants they feed on.

Bug Off Pest - Sawtooth beetles
Bug Off Pest – Sawtooth beetles

Sawtooth beetles Habitat

Sawtooth beetles are usually found in damp meadows, gardens and forested areas. They especially like to eat plants that grow in wet soil such as ferns or columbines and they lay their eggs on aquatic plants such as the pickerel weed.

The larvae feed on roots and other organic matter in the soil which is why they are often found around wet areas. The larvae are black with brown heads and orange legs, body segments and antennae. They can sometimes be seen congregating in damp areas of soil or mulch. The larvae of the sawtooth beetle pupate in the soil and emerge as adults one to two weeks later.

Bug Off Pest - Sawtooth beetles
Bug Off Pest – Sawtooth beetles

Sawtooth Behavior

Sawtooth beetles are voracious plant-eaters, but they do not usually bite humans or larger animals. These beetles secrete a foul smelling chemical that deters predators and can also be used to mark territory for mating when squirted at potential mates.

The larvae of the sawtooth beetle are most often seen in late summer and fall. This is when they are usually found congregating on plants in the garden and they are easier to spot than the adults since some species of sawtooth beetles have wings.

Adult sawtooth beetles are most active during the late spring and summer months. They feed on the foliage of plants and they typically fall into gardens when their favorite flowers or leaves are in season.

Bug Off Pest - Sawtooth beetles
Bug Off Pest – Sawtooth beetles

Prevention of Sawtooth Beetles

Sawtooth beetles are small and they can invade homes in search of food. They may make their way into the home through small cracks and crevices, gaps around windows or doors, vents, or other openings in walls. Adult sawtooth beetles that become trapped inside a home can be vacuumed up if spotted immediately.

Contact Us

If you find any Sawtooth beetles in your Charlotte County home, contact Bug Off Pest Charlotte immediately. We can help rid you of these garden pests and get your lawn or yard back to normal! As always, we are happy to answer any questions you may have about Sawtooth beetles or any other pest. Call us today 941-676-2005

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