Did you know there are more than 400,000 species of beetle making them the largest order of insects? Beetles are a diverse and common pest, found in all major habitats with the exception of marine and polar regions. A beetle’s diet can vary greatly and include anything from decaying flesh, wastes such as dung, fungi, pollen, fruit, plants as well as other invertebrates. The common house beetle is generally not a threat to your family or pets but can be a nuisance none-the-less. If you run into these beetles in Michigan, it’s best to be informed about their behavior and how to control them.
Are All Beetles Bad?
Although most beetles may cause you a headache or a scare, many species of beetles are beneficial. Lady Beetles, more commonly referred to as Ladybugs, feed on common plant pests like aphids and mealybugs. In this case, gardeners will try to keep a healthy population of Lady Beetles to guard from other pests. Despite the benefits that many beetles offer, they can become more harmful than helpful if you don’t properly control their populations.
Common Beetle Species
Powder Post Beetles
Appearance – Powder Post Beetles are reddish-brown in color with six black legs. Their bodies are narrow and oval shaped, ranging in size from 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. They have antennae and the ability to fly if needed.
Biology – Powder Post beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood and the larvae tunnel into the surface, filling it with a very fine powder-like dust. Powder Post beetles have long, narrow, flat bodies that allow them to easily attack wood surfaces. These beetles are reddish-brown in color.
Prevention – Powder Post beetles can be prevented through vigilant inspection of wood sources in the home. If they are found in your home, Griffin Pest will create a custom pest control solution that fits the exact needs and requirements of your issue.
Appearance – Carpet beetles range from 1/16 to 1/8 inch in length and are oval in shape. They are blackish in color, with minute whitish scales and a long band of orange/red scaled down the middle of the back. They have 6 legs and one pair of antennae.
Biology – Carpet Beetles prefer dark, secluded areas to lay eggs. The larvae are laid in or around fabrics, fur or carpets, hence the name. Adult Carpet Beetles feed on pollen and nectar, and are often seen in sunny areas.
Prevention – As with moths, to avoid carpet beetle infestations, store clothing in plastic containers. Dry-clean clothing thoroughly before storing for long periods of time.
Preventing Indoor Beetle Infestations
1. Clean Up Food Spills – Beetles will multiply quickly with a food source. Don’t forget to remove dust and debris on hard surfaces also.
2. Vacuum Regularly – Beetles will often lay eggs in carpeting or furniture. Vacuuming will help remove pet hair also, which beetle larvae thrive on.
3. Create a Seal – Try sealing and closing gaps where beetles may be entering your home. Focus on key areas like windows, doors, siding, chimneys, and around pipes entering the house. If the beetles can’t get in, then they can’t reproduce in your home.