As far as insects in a home go, there are few that are peskier than beetles. The term itself is surprisingly quite broad and counts a variety of different common insects. It may be surprising to know that there are about 400,000 different species of beetles! There are some common traits among the types of beetles, though.
Beetles’ front wings have the characteristic hard shell that we commonly associate with beetles. This hard exoskeleton can be slightly different across types of beetles, and these shells can have different functional uses, like trapping air bubbles or fighting off predators. Beetles can be found all over the world, except underwater and in the polar ice caps. The varying geographic locations of beetles is why there are so many different types. Of course, we won’t go into all of the different types of beetles in the world – but, we will talk about a few of the most common household beetles.
The first beetle we will talk about is the carpet beetle! The carpet beetle is very common in households. They are typically 1/8- to 1/4-inch long, and they can fly. While they are typically outdoor bugs, carpet beetles will generally only enter your house to lay eggs. Carpet beetles like to lay their eggs on animal products, so their larvae have a nutritious food source immediately after hatching. That is why you will find the eggs of carpet beetles on household animal products, such as silk or leather. When the larvae hatch, they can cause damage to whatever material the larvae are sitting on.
That does not explain why we call them carpet beetles, though. We call these bugs carpet beetles because the adults are commonly found on carpets, which makes them easy to spot in your home. However, you may also find them in your closet or in drawers. Carpet beetles are also easily noticeable because they can fly around your home.
The most common type of household beetle is the drugstore beetle. Drugstore beetles are tiny brown beetles, and they travel with food. They are more commonly found in places with food in non-airtight containers or where there are a lot of spills. Drugstore beetles can also go a few weeks without food, so they can survive for a while.
Drugstore beetles are commonly found in kitchens because they lay their eggs in the food. Unsurprisingly, they also like to raid and lay their eggs in prescription pill bottles! These beetles can eat through thin materials, so they easily infest your food. That is what makes them dangerous – they excrete their waste in your food, too. Look for signs of tiny holes in your containers or the actual beetles in your food.
We’ve talked about two beetles that can cause damage in your home, but not all beetles are damage-inducing! The click beetle is a relatively harmless beetle, also known as wireworms, though it is just as annoying as the other beetles. Click beetles don’t lay eggs in your home and don’t intend to enter your home. Click beetles in your home tend to be accidental, and mainly cause damage to outdoor plants, specifically veggies.
Click beetles are not shaped like your typical beetle, as they tend to be flatter, longer, and lighter-colored. Click beetles can be as long as 1.5 inches! The reason they are called click beetles is that their legs click as they flip over.
Another beetle, though less common, is the weevil. Weevils are known to be beetles with weirdly long snouts, and they can fly. Weevils are not dangerous to humans, but like click beetles, can eat through plants. There are different types of weevils that eat different plant products. For example, the wheat weevil eats grain and wheat. This type of beetle has an evolutionary function, however! Weevils act as a biological control for invasive or overgrowing plants. Their long snouts allow them to easily chew and destroy plants.
Larder beetles are a larger type of beetle, typically shaped like an oval. They are black-colored with a yellow stripe going through them. Similar to drugstore beetles, larder beetles prefer food products, so you will find them in the kitchen. They tend to gravitate toward cured meats, cheese or dairy products, feathers, or dry pet food. These beetles can reproduce quickly, so it’s vital that you treat the infestation as soon as you notice it.
How did I get beetles?
Once hearing about the few types of beetles, you may be asking how you even got beetles in your home! Mainly, beetles look for easy access points to enter your home, as they are unlikely to create one themselves. That could look like a damaged door or screen, corners of your garage door, a broken seal around a window, cracks in your foundation or cement, or any other gap that fails to properly insulate your home from the outside world.
How do I get rid of beetles?
The most common way to get rid of beetles is to literally kill them as you see them! Beetles are pretty easily visible, so you will tend to notice them. However, due to their tiny size, it will be hard to completely eradicate beetles from your home. This is especially relevant for a large beetle infestation, where you can’t keep killing each individual beetle. Think back to the drugstore beetle. These beetles are found in food and can lay their eggs in the food. That means that you may miss the eggs, or you miss one or two beetles here and there. Leaving just one or two beetles behind will mean that they can still reproduce.
That is why it is important to call the experts! At Pure Pest, we provide a stress-free service to getting rid of your beetles. We offer same-day pest control, and we are available 24/7. Operating since 1954, we are confident in our ability to eradicate your home of those pesky beetles. You can rest assured that your home will no longer also house beetles!