How to Identify and Control Beetles

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Beetles are fascinating creatures that can be found almost everywhere with their scientific name being Coleoptera. Unlike most insects, we have over 350,000 species of beetles making them the largest insect in the world. Although most beetles are harmless, however, a few of them can cause damage to crops, furniture, clothes, packaged goods, etc. Hence it’s important you’re able to identify a beetle when you see one. You never might tell which is harmless or capable of destroying your property. You can learn more here to know more about destructive beetles and bugs.

Identifying a beetle can be a daunting task since there are quite a number of them found in different sizes, colors, and shapes. Nevertheless, there are basic features that can help you identify a beetle. These features include their appearance, size, shapes, and color.

How to identify a beetle

Beetles generally have wings, which are covered by 2 hard wing coverings called elytra. These hard wings give them a distinctive look and make them have a crunching sound when accidentally stepped on. 

Also, beetles have sharp chewing mouthparts. These sharp mandibles allow them to consume other insects, fungus, plant matter, etc. Therefore, if the insect does not have sharp-looking mouthparts, then it’s not a beetle.

Another way to identify a beetle is to check if they have 6 legs. Beetles generally have 6 legs that are distributed between their front and back body segments. If they have less or more than 6 legs, then it’s not a beetle.

You can also identify a beetle by the type of damage it incurs. However, the type of damage it incurs might depend on the beetle types. 

Wood-boring beetles, such as deathwatch beetle and false powder-post beetle, leave behind frass that looks like sawdust as excreting. 

Pantry beetles, on the other hand, smell funny and have a tubular appearance. They are found in stored products and packaged food. 

Carpet beetles are found in undisturbed places like furniture, carpets, and rugs, which makes them difficult to spot.

Lastly, stink beetles are known to leave an offensive odor on items they come in contact with for weeks.

How to control a beetle

Beetles can be controlled or gotten rid of by using mechanical or chemical means. You can remove some beetles mechanically by using a vacuum or other mechanical or physical means. There are several chemical treatments that can help you curb beetle problems, or you may want exterminators if you’re not confident in handling this problem.

However, the best way to get rid of beetles is to prevent their infestation before it even begins. 

  1. Inspecting new items or packages before bringing in into your home.
  2. Cleaning and inspecting your upholstered furniture periodically
  3. Maintaining your home regularly in order to seal any pest entry points.
  4. Storing your dry goods and pantry items in airtight conditions.
  5. Avoiding old fabrics to prevent the possibility of fabric beetle infestation.
  6. Most beetles are attracted to light, you can reduce attractive lights and sealing entrances

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