What's this black, white and orange beetle?

What's this black, white and orange beetle?

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Found in Toronto Canada. Maybe 1-2 mm long but I'm not a good judge of measurements. Should I be concerned it has friends? I've dealt with carpet beetle larvae in several homes over 7 years and an praying this isn't an adult.

Yes this is an adult carpet beetle.

Specifically, this is a Common carpet beetle (Anthrenus scrophulariae)

See here for more info.

  • 2.5 to 3.8 mm in length.

  • Black head (mostly hidden by the prothorax) + black thorax and elytra with distinct scale patterns.

    • The thorax is covered with white scales except for a large midline.

    • The elytra have orange to red scales down the midline with variable patches of white scales.

      • Note: in older individuals, some or all of the scales may be lost and the color pattern may look different.

This species is found worldwide.

Unlike the larvae, the adults are primarily pollen grazers.

Adult striped cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum)

  • About 1/5 inch long, 1/10 inch wide.
  • Have yellow wings with three longitudinal black stripes.
  • Has a black head and antennae.
  • Has an orangish prothorax (the first area behind the head).

Adult spotted cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi)

  • Similar in size, shape and color.
  • Instead of stripes, this beetle has 12 black spots on its wing covers.

Larvae of both species are small (3/8 in) and creamy white colored. Eggs of both species are pale orange-yellow and are laid in groups.

What is that black and orange bug in my garden?

The suggestions on a recent “what’s this bug? post on this blog made me realize how hard it was to tell apart several common garden bugs: the harlequin bug, the bagrada bug, the milkweed bug and the boxelder bug. They are all flattish, orange/red and black, under an inch long, and seem to always be mating.

After doing the research, I really wanted to see all the bugs side by side, so I made this picture and this simple reference chart. It is now my gift to you. You are welcome.

If you have any trouble reading this chart, I’ve made a pdf of it: click here. I couldn’t get WordPress to display a proper table without adding a plug in & …blah blah software misery…blah.

Also, to find out more about any pest, a good place to start is to type the bug’s name into google, and then “UC IPM” which is shorthand for University of California, Davis’s Integrated Pest Management Program. They have tons of good information. It is California-based, but the advice tends to be applicable elsewhere. For more climate-specific advice, check your own local University Extension Services.

Final note: Don’t mix up any of the above with baby ladybugs/ladybirds, which eat even more aphids than adult lady bugs. They look like this:

Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetle Larva

How Did I Get Carpet Beetles?

Due to their diet of fabric and animal products, carpet beetle larvae can thrive in homes if left alone. Adults fly inside through open doors and windows to lay eggs on furniture, clothing, or rugs and often are introduced when infested items are brought inside a home. If homeowners don't keep items clean and well maintained, a new carpet beetle brood may hatch and start the cycle again.

How Serious Are Carpet Beetles?

Most carpet beetle damage results from larvae eating holes into natural fiber items like wool, silk, feathers, dead insects, and leather. These immature pests also have bristly hairs that can irritate skin.

When carpet beetles mature into adults, they feed on pollen instead of fabric items. Adults are mostly a nuisance because they are attracted to light. However, the presence of carpet beetles indoors usually suggests that their eggs and larvae are somewhere in the house.

Signs of a Carpet Beetle Infestation

Infestations are often identified by the presence of adult carpet beetles, which gather around windows and lights. Adult carpet beetles may be seen flying to lights or crawling on surfaces.

Identifying Larvae Larvae also may be seen crawling on surfaces. The most likely sign is their damage. The larvae can chew holes in infested items and will usually leave behind their shed skins. Heavily infested items can be riddled with holes and damage.

How Do I Get Rid of Carpet Beetles?

Your local Orkin technician is trained to help manage carpet beetles and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin technician will design a unique program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep carpet beetles in their place. out of your home, or business.

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Adult beetles feed on seeds, plants, and flowers. Larvae, however, feed on a variety of animal and plant-based materials, including:

Adult carpet beetles can live both indoors and out, but females prefer to lay eggs where larval food sources are abundant. These pests enter homes through doors, windows, and similar entrances. They can also be brought in by way of cut plants and flowers. Some live inside the nests of birds or other animals and can live in walls or chimneys, feeding on dead insects and animals.


In spring, female carpet beetles lay 25 to 100 eggs, which hatch into larvae within two weeks. Carpet beetle larvae are able to mature under a variety of humidity levels and temperatures, although they tend to avoid bright areas.

Depending on food sources and climate, larvae may take over a year to develop into adults. As they develop, they shed their brown skins.

Lady beetle

Harmonia axyridis adult. Photo taken by Erfan Vafaie.

Common Name(s): Lady Beetle, Ladybug


Lady beetles, also commonly called “ladybugs” or “ladybird beetles”, are considered predators of other small soft-bodied insects. Adult beetles can vary in coloration and pattern of spots, depending on the species. Even within species, such as the multicolored Asian ladybeetle (Harmonia axyridis), coloration can vary from yellow to red, and no spots to 19 spots (Koch 2003). The larva are soft-bodied and typically covered in small ‘spikes’, however, for some species of lady beetles, the larva are covered in a white wax, appearing much like a mealybug.

There are a number of naturally occurring and introduced lady beetle species. The spotted lady beetle, Coleomegilla maculata (DeGeer) is dark pink, and has large black spots on the wing covers (elytra) and no white markings on the shield just behind the head (pronotum). Other naturally occurring lady beetles include scale and mealybug predators, such as Hyperaspis lateralis (Mulsant), which are black with red spots on the elytra. These species are all black except for two red spots on the elytra. The twice-stabbed form of Olla v-nigrum is also black with two red spots on the elytra, but also has white markings on the side of the pronotum. Ollah v-nigrum also has a grey/white variant with black spots. One of the smaller lady beetle species is Scymnus loewii Mulsant, being only 1/16 inch long. Adult beetles are dull orange on the sides with a black “V” on the wing covers. Larvae of this species, which feed on aphids and mites, and secrete wax filaments on their bodies which make them look much like mealybugs.

Mouthparts are for chewing. Larvae and adults feed on aphids, scales, eggs of caterpillars and other soft-bodied insects and mites. Adults occasionally feed on nectar, pollen and honeydew (exudate of aphids and other sucking insects). Adults disperse seeking feeding and reproduction sites.

Life Cycle

Female adult beetles lay yellow oval-shaped eggs in clusters or singly near infestations of aphids or other pests. Larvae hatch from eggs and develop through several larval stages until they pupate. Development from egg to adult takes 2 to 3 weeks.

Adults mating. Photo: Erfan Vafaie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Lady beetle eggs. Photo: Erfan Vafaie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Lady beetle larva looking for aphids. Photo: Erfan Vafaie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Lady beetle larva consuming aphids. Photo: Erfan Vafaie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Lady beetle larva consuming aphids. Photo: Erfan Vafaie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Lady beetle larva consuming aphids. Photo: Erfan Vafaie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Lady beetle larva (white waxy insect) feeding on aphids. These larva mimic mealybugs, but are actually the larva of a type of lady beetle species that is covered in wax as a larva. Photo: Erfan Vafaie, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension

What's this black, white and orange beetle? - Biology

Common Name: Bald-Faced Hornet
Scientific Name: Dolichovespula maculata

(Information for this species page was gathered in part by Ms. Jessica Kaczor for Biology 220W at Penn State New Kensington in Spring 2011)

The bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) is a large, black and white colored, social wasp that is found throughout North America. It is not a true “hornet” because that term is specifically used to describe wasp species in the genus Vespa, but, instead, it is a member of the “yellowjacket” group (in spite of its very un-yellowjacket-like colorations!). The bald-faced hornet has many other common names including the “white-faced hornet,” the “white-tailed hornet,” the “bald-faced yellowjacket,” the “blackjacket,” and the “bull wasp.”

Image credit: P. Namek, Wikimedia Commons

The bald-faced hornet ranges in length from three quarters of an inch to just over an inch. Queens are in the larger portion of the size range, and Workers are in the shorter section of the size range. The bald-faced hornet has a black, relatively hairless body with white patches on its face and thorax and three distinctive white stripes around the end of its abdomen.

The bald-faced hornet lives in a colonial nest constructed of woody materials that have been chewed and mixed with saliva to form a gray, papery material. The nests are typically located in dense branches high in the canopy of a tree. They are constructed of multiple layers of hexagonal combs all encased in about two inches of protective paper. There are air vents in the upper portion of the nest that allow excess heat to leave the nest. The nest begins as a very small structure but grows through the summer as the colony of bald-faced hornets gets larger and larger. A nest at the end of the summer may be a football-shaped globe that is two feet high and a foot and a half across. A nest at its maximum may house one hundred to four hundred wasps. All of the individuals in the colony are the offspring of the founding Queen.

Inside the colony are numerous “Worker” wasps. These individuals are non-fertile females that do the food gathering, larvae and pupae maintenance, nest building and repair, and protection. The Queen, then, is left free to exclusively lay eggs and generate new individuals for the colony.

Colony Life Cycle
The colony begins in the spring when a Queen emerges from her winter hibernation. The Queen builds a small nest in a protected location high in a tree and lays a batch of eggs. These eggs develop into the first cohort of Workers who take over the functioning of the nest so that the Queen can concentrate on her egg production. During the summer the nest will be greatly expanded by the activities and efforts of the steadily increasing numbers of Workers. Toward the end of the summer the Queen will lay two special types of eggs. The first will be, like the Workers’ eggs, fertilized eggs that will develop into females, but these females will be fertile (i.e. will be potential Queens). The second group of eggs will be unfertilized eggs. These eggs will develop into fertile males. The maturation and emergence of the new Queens and the fertile males marks the end of the functioning of the colony. These emergent adults leave the nest, mate, and the fertilized Queens only then overwinter and then begin their colony cycle all over again in the following spring.

Worker Activity
Workers are very active outside the nest during the daylight hours of the summer. At night, they are active inside the nest caring for the larvae and pupae, and repairing and expanding the structure of the nest. During the day there is a constant flow of Workers in and out of the nest. These Workers are bringing food into the nest (flower nectar, fruit pulp, tree sap, and a great variety of insects (especially dipterans!) upon which they prey. Larvae are fed a rich mash of crushed up insects gathered by and fed to them by the Workers.

Ecological Impacts
In the process of seeking out flower nectars, the bald-faced hornets may be contributing to the spread of pollen from flower to flower and thus may act as a catalyst in the reproductive cycle of many plants. The fact, though, that these wasps have very smooth bodies (as described by the “hairless” or “bald” adjectives in a number of their common names) means that very little pollen actually sticks to their bodies. They are thought to be a much less effective pollinator species than say the much hairier honeybee or bumblebee.

The impact of these bald-faced hornets on other insect populations, though, may have great ecological and even human significances. They prey avidly on a wide range of insects but seem to be especially fond of various species of dipterans. Deer flies and horseflies are an optimal prey size, and I have observed swarms of bald-faced hornets taking these biting dipterans in very large numbers.

Bald-faced hornets have modified ovipositors on their abdomens that function as “stingers.” These stingers are extremely smooth and so can be injected into a target and withdrawn without any damage to the stinger or to the abdomen of the wasp. The consequence of this is that a bald-faced hornet can repeatedly and without damage to itself sting a target organism and potentially inject it with a large amount of venom. The venom is a complex mix of proteins that are capable of stimulating pain nerve receptors in a target organism. These proteins can also trigger inflammatory and even allergic reactions in the wasp’s target. Bald-faced hornets are also able to eject this venom from their ovipositors and can spray this toxic mixture into the faces (especially the eyes) of any nest predator that disturbs the colony.

Nest predators include skinks, raccoons, and foxes. These mammals rip open bald-faced hornet nests to feast on the larvae and pupae. Humans, usually inadvertently, may also disturb bald-faced hornet nests and can receive a vigorously aggressive response by venom rich Workers. Many birds consume bald-faced hornets as do spiders, frogs and large, predaceous insects like praying mantises.

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Physical Characteristics

Their size ranges from 12 to 35 millimeters, and their color is blackish to mahogany. They lack any kind of markings, and their under-bodies have more of a hairy texture. They are commonly referred to as ‘backyard pests’, as they destroy vegetation, and their larvae eat up the roots of plants. These bugs are nocturnal and are attracted to light.

June bugs can fly you’ll see swarms of these near street lamps. Don’t ever keep your windows open during the May-June period, or you’ll have to spend the next day cleaning the bug mess. Though, even if they do enter your home, they are harmless and won’t bite.

Now, there’s another popular June beetle that’s active in the day too. It is commonly referred to as ‘Green June Beetle’, belongs to the Cotinis genus. The name of this species is Cotinis Nitida. They vary to some extent from the normal June bugs the fully-grown bug is usually 15 to 22 millimeters. Its head, legs, and under-body is shiny green, while its wings are dull metallic green. There’s a slight gold contrast to its sides. These bugs are mainly found in the eastern US, extending from Maine to Georgia, and further to Kansas. These green insects aren’t very good for the garden. They feed on fruits and berries. The larvae would nibble on the lawn or the turf grass. So spraying some pesticides in the garden would be a good idea.

Sub-clover weevil (Listoderes delaguei)


  • slightly smaller than vegetable weevil, about 7mm long
  • brightly coloured with a smooth appearance to its body
  • has a prominent white spine on each side of the back
  • two angled short white stripes like vegetable weevil
  • prominent white stripe running down the centre of the body just behind the head.

See: Vegetable weevil section for picture.

  • similar to vegetable weevil larvae with brown head with brown plate behind the head
  • legless
  • yellow to green.


Boxelder bugs are black with reddish or orange markings on their back. Adult boxelder bugs have a body shape that is a somewhat-flattened and elongated oval and is about half an inch long. They have six legs and two antennae that are typically half of their body length. Nymphs look similar to adults but lack wings and are bright red in color.

Boxelder bugs generally become a problem when they invade homes, sheds and garages in the fall and when they emerge in the spring. Like many overwintering pests, homeowners may see evidence of these bugs as the winter ends and they leave their overwintering site to go back outdoors.

Boxelder Bug Photos

Photo of boxelder bugs on a brick wall

Photo of boxelder bugs on a deck

Insect Conservation Biology

Adalia bipunctata, the two-spotted lady beetle (or two-spot), has quite a wide range. It is native to both North America and Europe, and can still be found throughout both. It is actually still very common in western Europe. However, even though is not currently listed as endangered or threatened, its range in North America seems to be narrowing. Our greatest fear is that it&rsquos declining along with Coccinella novemnotata (C-9, the nine-spotted lady beetle) because of the same factors, and that it, too will soon disappear from large areas of its former range.

The two-spot is one of about 450 lady beetles (Coccinellidae) that occur in the US. It is one of the more recognizable species, with adults being dome shaped and about 4-5mm long. Typically, its pronotum is black and white and its abdomen is orange-red with 2 prominent black spots, one on each elytra (hence its name). However, there is a melanic polymorphism in the two-spot, and there also exists a black form with four or six red spots on it, and other intermediate, rare forms. Larvae are grayish black with yellow and white markings, and look a lot like tiny alligators. They emerge in early to mid-spring, and take a little less than a month to mature into adults, then live for 1 or 2 years.

The diet of larval and adult two-spots is the same. They are carnivorous and eat soft-bodied insects. The two-spot&rsquos main prey item is aphids, though they will also eat other soft-bodied hemipterans such as scale insects and mealybugs. They also feed on mites and insect eggs, and will resort to cannibalism as well. Thus, two-spots are valuable to us because their prey are detrimental, feeding on our agricultural crops. Lady beetles are one of the most publicly recognized and revered insects, so they also help with conservation. Endangered or threatened lady beetles are flagship species - people want to save them because they like them, and so other organisms in their environment will be protected, too.

The two-spot can be found in a variety of habitat - meadows, fields, gardens, forests, etc. They will live in nearly any vegetation so long as there is a food source. So why might they be declining? We have a few ideas. Land is being converted from agricultural use to forested areas, which may have caused a decline in the two-spot&rsquos prey, or made it harder for females to find prey aggregations, thus lowering the number of oviposition sites. As with C-9, two-spots may be declining due to other species of lady beetles living in their range and either cannibalizing them or using up their resources. As several studies suggest, poor prey quality can lower prey searching behavior and fecundity. Parasites, parasitoids, pathogens, increased cannibalism, use of insecticides and transgenic crops, and hybridization with other species may also be lowering the two-spot&rsquos population density in certain areas.

The number one way to help the two-spot, as is often the case, is to gain more information about its condition and spread this knowledge publicly. Before we can try to ensure that this species does not disappear from its range, we must find out exactly why it is declining. So, we should look into the above listed possibilities for decline, and either rule them out or prove them to be occurring. Using &ldquocitizen science&rdquo can help a national survey done by regular citizens can amass invaluable data. Conservation efforts are in their beginning stages, and we will hopefully learn what is affecting this lovely insect&rsquos populations before its range does shrink drastically.

Watch the video: Ζουζούνια - Γκρι Official (February 2023).