Authors as Published

Eric Day, Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech

Image 1 click beetle
Adult click beetles. Steve L. Brown, University of Georgia.


These flattened, elongate, brown beetles are about 1/4 to 3/4 inch long. On their underside, they have a click mechanism that aids them in defense and righting
themselves when they are turned upside down. They release this mechanism with an audible "click" which causes the head to snap back with such force that they can be propelled into the air as much as several inches. 

Size: 1/4 to 3/4 inch (6.4-19.1 mm). 
Color: Brown


In the mid-to-late summer, people often encounter large numbers of click beetles coming to lights and getting into houses.

Type of Damage

The larval form of the click beetle is the wireworm, which can be a pest in gardens and turf if there are large numbers of them. The wireworms feed on the roots of plants. Click beetles feed on nectar from flowers and are not pests.

Image 2 click beetle larvae
Wireworm. Richard Sprenkel, University of Florida,


Cultural Control

The best way to reduce the number of click beetles in the house is with a reduction in the number of outside lights on at night and tightening and patching of screens. If desired, individual beetles can be controlled with an aerosol spray.

Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

May 13, 2011

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