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Extension Entomology

Bugs at Lights

— by Dr. Jeff Whitworth and Dr. Holly Schwarting

Much interest has been generated throughout north central and south central Kansas relative to “hundreds” of black beetles around lights at night.  The majority that we have identified are ground beetles in the family Carabidae, most specifically, Harpalus pennsylvanicus.

These beetles are attracted to lights at night and mainly become a pest by trying to get inside homes, businesses, or other outbuildings the next morning.  Although they can be a serious nuisance because of their sheer numbers and activity, beetles that do make it into dwellings will die shortly afterwards and will not cause any damage.  These populations should slowly dwindle over the next week or two.

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