How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Darkling beetles

Darkling beetles are dull bluish black or brown. They never have color patterns on the back. In most species, the segments at the tip of the antenna are slightly larger than segments at the base. Darkling beetles are found throughout California.

Identification of species


Darkling beetles chew off seedlings or feed on foliage of several different vegetable crops. Feeding in some fruit crops, such as figs, may also occur. Beetles are most active at night but occasionally run on the ground in the daytime. They often hide under clods or debris during the hot parts of the day.


To help reduce population levels, remove or hasten the breakdown of organic matter to reduce the available host material for larvae. Be sure the garden and borders are weed and debris-free before you plant.

Darkling beetles
Darkling beetle adult

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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