Soldier beetles are being found in large numbers on linden trees. These beetles feed on the pollen and nectar of the linden tree blossoms. Tom Lashmett, Unit Extension Leader in Morgan-Scott Unit, reports that linden trees are blooming very heavily in Jacksonville and that the beetles are very numerous as well.
Soldier beetles are 1/2-inch-long beetles that have soft wing covers. They look very much like fireflies except that they do not have a light organ on the abdomen. Some soldier beetles are all black, but many are yellowish tan with black markings toward the end of the wing covers. Their larvae live in the ground or beneath loose bark, where they feed on other insects. These beetles will not harm the linden trees or other plants, so there is no need for control.