Beetles are the most common type of insect, unlike most other winged insects, beetles have two, rather than four wings. They are known for having forewings that are typically modified into hard wing cases (elytra), which cover and protect the hindwings and abdomen.
Species of Beetles
Varied Carpet Beetle Varied Carpet beetles are a common pest in museums and homes, the adult Carpet Beetle feeds only on pollen and nectar of garden flowers but lays its eggs in old birds’ nests, felt, fabric or accumulated fluff in buildings and are often found on windowsills trying to get outside.
Identification: Adult beetles. 1.5 to 4mm in length, variable, brown or black and mottled with yellow or white marks in colour. Similar in shape to a small ladybird.
Larvae known as ‘woolly bears’ 4–5 mm long, brown and hairy with three bunches of spear– headed hairs either side of the rear segments.
Fur Beetle Also known as the two spot carpet beetle, the fur beetle is an important pest damaging stored products such as furs, skins, textiles, grain and entomological specimens.
Identification: Adult beetles, 4.5-5mm in length, oval shaped and are shiny black with two white spots on the wing cases. Larvae, known as ‘woolly bears’ are up to 12mm in length brown in colour, they have a banded appearance, with three bunches of golden hairs, arranged in pairs on their last abdominal segment, they avoid light, and when disturbed play dead.
Hide Beetle Hide Beetles infest a wide variety of substances, especially those of animal origin. Infestations are often hard to locate because beetles and larvae can migrate far from the original food source.
Identification: Adult beetles are 5.5-10mm long black in colour, oval shaped and densely covered in hairs. The larvae are up to 14mm long, dark brown banded with distinctive bristles, known as ‘woolly bears’.
Larder Beetle The Larder beetle is a common pest of hides and other animal products including dried and cured meats, cheese, feathers, hair, horns and skin, and other foods with a high protein content. This beetle is also found in bird nests, animal remains, and bee and wasp nests.
Identification: Adults, 7-9mm in length, oval-shaped body. Black with a light coloured band across the wing covers. There are several dark spots in the buff area. Larvae are yellow brown and cylindrical, covered with dense hairs. Larvae reach a length of 20 mm at maturity.
Yellow Mealworm Beetle Considered scavengers and are among the largest insects that infest stored products. Most prefer to feed on decaying grain or milled cereals in damp, poor conditions. Indoors, they are usually found in basements or at ground level, sometimes infesting cornmeal, flour, cereals, meat scraps or dead insects.
Identification: Adult beetles, approximately 28mm in length and shiny, dark-brown or black, resembling many ground beetles in shape, size and colour. The mealworm themselves are the larval form. Larvae up to 20mm in length are a honey-yellow colour with hard, highly polished worm-like body.
Churchyard Beetles The Churchyard Beetle is a beetle of the darkling beetles family (Tenebrionidae) found living in dark places such as old cellars, sheds and barns.
Identification: Adult beetle, approx. 30mm in length. Black in colour with the exception of the mouthparts which have an orange fringe. Active at night, during April to September.
Devil's Coach Horse Beetle Ocypus olens belongs to the rove beetle family, of which there are approximately 1000 species found in the UK. A voracious predator of other ground-dwelling invertebrates, including slugs, the devil's coach-horse lives under stones or among plant litter.
Identification: Adult beetle: 25-28mm in length, long thin body, black in colour. These beetles have short wings and scorpion like pincers. The beetles aren’t poisonous but their bites are quite painful. They also emit a foul smelling odour as a warning sign.
Ground Beetles Ground beetles are members of the Carabidae family, most ground beetles are voracious predators and are occasionally a nuisance indoors by their presence. However, these beetles normally live outdoors and do not establish themselves indoors.
Identification: 12 – 25mm in length, mainly black in colour, some enhanced by iridescent, metallic blue, green, purple, reddish or other bright markings. Both adults and larvae are considered beneficial since they feed on larvae of many harmful insects.
Stored Product Insects
Biscuit Beetle Biscuit beetles are omnivorous. They eat food, non-foodstuffs and drugs. They also called Drug Store Beetles as they have an affinity to infest pharmaceutical products, such as prescribed drugs.
Identification: Adult beetles are 2-3mm in length, reddish-brown in colour and similar to both the Tobacco Beetle and Common Furniture Beetle.
Confused Flour Beetle Confused Flour beetles attack milled grain products such as flour and cereals but also have a very wide food range including grains, spices, grain products, shelled nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, drugs, peas, beans and other similar materials.
Identification: Adult beetle, red-brown in colour and about 3 - 4 mm in length. The larvae are a light honey colour and about 6 mm long, they have 3 pairs of legs and will moult 7-8 times.
Hairy Fungus Beetle They frequently form part of the fauna in grain stores, especially on the surface of bulk grain after a long damp autumn and winter. This insect serves as an indicator that grains or other foods may be going out of condition.
Identification: Adult beetle, 2 - 3 mm in length, brown in colour and covered with short, stout hairs. Larvae are white to pale brown, 4 - 4.5 mm in length. Similar in appearance to but smaller than the biscuit beetle.
Khapra Beetle The khapra beetle is considered to be the world's most destructive pest of stored grain and grain products. If left uncontrolled, this beetle can cover the surface of stored grain making it appear alive with crawling larvae.
Identification: The male is about 2 mm in length and the female is slightly larger, up to 3 mm. Oval shaped, dark brown in colour with yellowbrown to red-brown markings on the wing covers. Larvae up to 5 mm in length, yellow to golden brown in colour and are covered with thick, redbrown hairs with two tufts at the end of the abdomen.
Rust-red Flour Beetle Rust-red flour beetles can be found infesting a variety of grain and food materials. They cannot feed on whole grain, but can feed on broken kernels that are usually present.
Identification: Red-brown in colour and about 3 - 4 mm in length. The larvae are a light honey colour and about 6 mm long. The rust-red flour beetle and the confused flour beetle are often grouped together due to the similarity in their appearance, biology, and behaviour.
Sawtoothed Grain Beetle The saw-toothed grain beetle is a common stored-products pest throughout the world in homes, grocery stores, food warehouses, and grain storage facilities. These beetles feed on a variety of stored products including flour, cereals etc.
Identification: Dark brown in colour and about 2.5 - 3.5 mm in length. Slender and flattened in appearance with six sawtoothed projections on each side of the thorax. Usually found in grain and milled grain products. A closely related species, Mercator Beetle (Oryzaephilus mercator), is also important and is often mistaken for the saw-toothed grain beetle.
Spider Beetles Spider beetles are typically found in cooler areas preferring temperature of 25°C or below. The highest temperatures at which these beetles survive is 30°C and adults quickly die at temperatures above 38°C.
Identification: Ptinus tectus is 2.5 - 4.0 mm in length and the wing cases are covered with short, goldenbrown hairs.
Niptus hololeucus is usually a little larger, 3 - 4.5 mm long, with wing cases covered by long, silky golden-yellow hairs.
Tobacco Beetle The adult beetles are strong fliers and are very active in subdued light. Adult beetles “play dead” for a few seconds when they are disturbed.
Identification: Adult beetle, 2 to 3 mm in length, and are covered with small hairs which give them a silky, yellowishbrown colour. The head is bent down and barely visible from above that gives the beetle a rounded or “humped” appearance. Larvae are creamy white except for the yellow head and brown mouthparts.
Products to control Beetles:
Ecorex Action Plus Ecorex Action Plus is an insecticide product for professional use against flying and crawling insects.
Alphaban Super 500ml This insecticide is formulated as an oil in water emulsion (EW). It is a useful tool for crack and crevice treatments
Permost CS 500ml This microencapsulated insecticide contains permethrin which is effective against various insects and a long residual activity up to 60 days.
Ultra-Py Bug Killer Ultra-Py Bug Killer is a broad spectrum insecticidal concentration designed to control flying and crawling insects.