How to Kill Palo Verde Beetles


Adult Palo Verde beetles grow from three to six inches long, and look a lot like roaches. Unlike roaches, Palo Verde beetles are outdoor pests capable of causing a large amount of damage to landscaping. As grubs -- an immature state the beetles linger in for up to three years -- they will feed on tree and shrub roots, which can eventually kill the plants. Palo Verde beetles are difficult to kill, but not impossible, and you definitely want to eliminate them in your outdoor areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy gloves
  • Closed-toe shoes
  • Look for Palo Verde beetles in July, when they are most active. During this time of year, Palo Verde beetles will begin to lay their eggs -- this makes killing them important, as you want to be rid of them before they lay eggs and create more beetles.

  • Search for Palo Verde beetles around the base of tree trunks; they lay their eggs here, so the newly-hatched grubs may dig below the soil to find the tree roots upon which they feed. Adult beetles, which grow up to six inches long, are easy to see with the naked eye.

  • Pick beetles up by hand, but not without putting on heavy gloves first. Palo Verde beetles have spikes on their thorax (middle) section and spines that are sharp enough to cut bare skin.

  • Place beetles on the ground and crush them with your foot to kill them quickly. Wear closed-toed shoes with thick soles when killing Palo Verde beetles in this fashion.

  • Pour insecticides into exit beetle exit holes, which will be found in the soil around the base of infected trees. The presence of exit holes generally indicates that the beetles have already left and moved on in search of new food sources, but in some cases it can be helpful to flush these areas to prevent new grubs from emerging.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep trees as healthy as possible. Unhealthy trees are easy targets for many types of pests, including Palo Verde beetles.
  • Replace removed trees with native trees -- ones that grow naturally in your region as Palo Verde beetles commonly attack non-native trees and shrubs.

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  • Photo Credit Pine Trees image by Antonio Oquias from
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