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Training Public Health Insect Course (Swanbourne)

Hairy Fungus Beetle (Typhaea stercorea)

 


Associated with damp conditions and the development of moulds and fungi. Commonly found in birds' nests, amongst damp newspapers, food packaging and other materials in cellars and pantries. 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.

Biology:
The female beetle lays a variable number of eggs loosely in and amongst the larval food substrate. From one to two weeks later the young larvae hatch and immediately feed on moulds and fungal hyphae. They are free living and almost whitish. From 3 to 6 weeks later the larva pupates in a suitable niche, and the adult emerges after a period from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on temperature and relative humidity. The adults are also fungus feeders. These species are frequently recorded and widespread throughout Britain. The hairy fungus beetle does not attack stored foods but is always an indication of damp conditions and the presence of moulds and fungi.

Control:
Primarily an insect pest in grain stores. The hairy fungus beetle does not damage stored grain, its presence in grain stores indicates mould growth on the grain. Insecticide treatments are seldom necessary against these pests, with improvements in hygiene generally sufficient to overcome the problem. Try to deny the conditions they need to survive and multiply, adjusting the environment is the first step in controlling fungus beetles. Where a treatment is required any residual insecticide labelled for crawling insects is likely to be effective.

Products to control Hairy Fungus Beetle:

Eradisect Flying and Crawling Insect Killer (600ml)
A good all round flying and crawling insect killer with rapid knock down and good flushing properties.

Ecorex Action Plus (1L)
Ecorex Action Plus is an insecticide product for professional use against flying and crawling insects.

Cimetrol Super RFU (300ml)
Cimetrol Super RFU is a ready for use water-based spray to control bedbugs, fleas and other crawling and flying insects.