Rove beetles

Photo by: Art Antonelli
For successful pest management, use IPM (Integrated Pest Management).

Rove beetles are common insects in the yard and garden, and may sometimes be found in homes. The many species come in a wide variety of forms, but most common rove beetles are slender, elongate beetles ranging in size from 1/4 to one inch long. They are often shiny or very slightly hairy in appearance and range in color from brownish to black. The most distinctive characteristics of rove beetles are their short, squarish wing covers (elytra) which leave much of the abdomen exposed and their habit of raising the abdomen in the air, scorpion-like, when threatened or running. At first glance, rove beetles may be confused with earwigs, but lack earwigs' long cerci or pincers on the tip of the abdomen. Rove beetles also often have large heads and prominent mouthparts. These are active insects, often running rapidly or flying when disturbed. Both adults and larvae may be found on plants or mushrooms, in decaying plant litter and debris, under stones, associated with ant or termite colonies, or near dung or carrion. Adults of some species may be attracted to lights at night. These insects have large, strong mouthparts which can inflict a sharp bite or jab. Rove beetles should not be handled bare-handed because some species produce toxins which can cause a localized allergic skin reaction. Most species of rove beetles are predaceous or scavengers and are considered beneficial.

Management Options

Select Non-chemical Management Options as Your First Choice!!
Revision Date:2/27/2014

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Pestsense web site created by Becky Hines and Carrie Foss, Urban IPM and Art Antonelli, Extension Entomology, WSU Puyallup
Pesticide information review provided by Catherine Daniels, Washington State Pest Management Resource Service
Database programs developed for Pestsense by Kathleen Duncan and Jim Boyer , Computer Resources, WSU Pullman
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