It’s that time of year when the ‘dreaded’ Palo Verde Beetle emerges from its desert soil and invades our skies and properties. For most of it’s life, the Palo Verde Beetle lives in the soil typically at the base of the Palo Verde trees (hence the name). After 2 to 4 years underground the large beetle now emerges and takes flight (yes they fly) in search of a mate.
Their appearance is disturbing to most people. Most describe it’s appearance as a cross between a large cockroach and giant beetle. They are dark brown or black in color, growing up to a whopping 4-inches in length with long antennae, spines on their thorax and a large set of pinchers. While they look particularly menacing, they are relatively harmless to people; however, their grubs can cause harm to your tree’s root system. The good news is that these flying beetles are seasonal. Typically emerging during the monsoon season and disappearing again after mid-September. They are typically most active during the evening hours and are attracted to light. They only live a month or so and die shortly after mating. Other desert wildlife have the Palo Verde Beetle on their menus; skunks, roadrunners, owl, coyotes and bobcats make meals out of them.
Because they have wings and fly, the Palo Verde Beetle can end up almost anywhere. Your best defense is to keep trees on your property healthy as they target distressed trees and to minimize the lighting (bright lights) around the outside of your home. They do succumb to most pesticides commonly applied to a home’s foundation and perimeter walls, but again their lifespan is relatively short anyway.