Beetles

Varied Carpet Beetles

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Varied carpet beetles get their name from the rainbow of color on their back surfaces.

Habits

These pests enjoy dining on carpets, woolen fabrics, dead insects, furs, hides, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bones. It can take 249-354 days to three years for varied carpet beetles to grow from an egg to an adult.

Habitat

Varied carpet beetles are found in homes in attics, Oriental carpets, tapestries and wood-based wall-to-wall carpeting.

Threats

Varied carpet beetles feed on dead insects, but also feed on upholstery and carpet, so they can damage those materials. They can also damage clothing fabric.

Ground Beetles

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Ground beetles are very common “outdoor” insects that occasionally become pests by wandering into houses and buildings by mistake. They do not damage household structures or furniture and are harmless to people and pets. They are actually beneficial because they feed on insect larvae. However, large numbers are occasionally present and they become more annoying than beneficial. There are hundreds of species of ground beetles.

Ground beetles live on the ground under leaves, logs, stones and other debris. They feed mostly at night, and may be attracted to lights. They usually gain entrance to the house by crawling in through small cracks or openings, or through open doorways and windows.

Controlling ground beetles is usually not necessary. However, if invasion is persistent or especially troublesome you can eliminate or treat their outdoor hiding places as practical. Spot treatment of likely sources with the insecticide sprays mentioned below is possible. Invasion of ground beetles can be reduced by eliminating entry points by caulking gaps and cracks in the foundation and siding, or repairing windows and screens. In severe cases, it may be desirable to apply a residual insecticide in a 10-foot band around the house, to the house foundation, doorways and other points of entry. Additional residual insecticides are available to pest control operators if you choose to have this treatment professionally applied. The only effective control for ground beetles already inside is to pick them up and discard.

Larder Beetles

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The larder beetle is a very common and widespread household insect pest.  The insect’s name comes from it’s presence in dried, cured meats stored at room temperature prior to refrigeration.  Today, larder beetles may be a pest in stored foods and other items of high protein content.  Larder beetles outdoors are valuable “recyclers” that play an important role in the breakdown and recycling of animal protein.

The larder beetle adult is slightly longer than 1/4th inch.  It is roundly oval and dark brown to black with a characteristic light colored band running across the body.   This light band contains 6 more or less prominent dark spots.  Larder beetle larvae are up to 1/2 inch long.  They are tapered in shape and covered with sparse, stiff hair.   There are 2 upward curved spines on the posterior end. 

Both the larvae and adults feed on items such as fur, hair, hides, feathers, and occasionally stored products such as dried fish, pet food and cheese.  In the house, however, the most likely source is dead insects or other animals (boxelder bugs, attic flies, mice, etc.) that have accumulated inside walls or attics.

If a source of larder beetles can be determined than control can be achieved by discarding or cleaning infested woolens, feathers, furs, hides and so forth.  However, in the more typical, general infestation the source is probably the dead insects within the innerwall spaces and removal or sanitation is not practical.  Cleaning is still recommended.  Thoroughly vacuum clean cracks and crevices in the areas where larder beetles are found.

A residual insecticide treatment can be applied following cleaning.  Apply small quantities of residual spray or dust to cracks and edges in areas where beetles or larvae are most commonly seen.

 

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