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Pest World For Kids

Beetles

Small Beetle3

Did you know? Adult beetles have two sets of wings.

Explore Beetles

  • Adult beetles have two sets of wings.
  • Female beetles usually lay dozens or hundreds of eggs.
  • Most beetles only live for a year.
  • Beetles cannot see very well, so they communicate using pheromones, sounds or vibrations.
  • Some beetles are not considered pests. "Ladybugs" are beetles and are considered to be good luck in many cultures. "Fireflies" and "Lightning bugs" are also beetles. They glow in the dark to communicate.

There are 12,000 different kinds of beetles in the United States and over 300,000 species in the world. Beetles are found on land and in fresh water and can adapt to almost any environment. Beetles usually just live where they eat. 

Beetles can both hurt and help the environment. Some beetle species destroy crops or property, while some species help get rid of garbage, eat dead trees or help pollinate flowers.

Find information on beetle pest control at the official NPMA website.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet Beetles

Varied carpet beetles get their name from the rainbow of color on their backs. It can take up to three years for them to grow from an egg to an adult. Adult beetles only live between 13 and 44 days!

  • Size: 1/16"
  • Shape: Round
  • Color: Black centers, with white, brown and yellow patches.
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Varied carpet beetle
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Dermestidae
  • Species: Anthrenus verbasci

Diet:

Varied Carpet beetles mostly eat carpet, wool, dead insects, furs, hides, feathers, horns, hair, silk and bones.

Habitat:

Varied carpet beetles are found in attics, wool carpets, tapestries and wall-to-wall carpeting.

Impact:

Varied carpet beetles can ruin clothing, upholstery and carpet by eating it.

Prevention:

  • Since beetles are drawn to fibers, to protect your clothing keep your clothes off the floor, store un-used clothing in plastic bags or containers and dry clean clothing before storing it.
Powder Post Beetles

Powder Post Beetles

There are 11 species of Powder Post beetles in the United States. They have long, narrow, flat bodies. Adult beetles fly and are attracted to light.

  • Size: 1/8" to 1/4"
  • Shape: Narrow, oval
  • Color: Reddish brown to black
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Powder post beetle
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Lyctidae
  • Species: Lyctus brunneus

Diet:

Lyctid Powder Post beetles usually feed on hard woods.

Habitat:

Lyctid Powder Post beetles lay their eggs in cracks of wood. They are found in hardwood floors, timbers and crates, antiques and other things made of hard wood.

Impact:

Lyctid Powder Post beetles dig holes in wood. They can kill or damage trees and things made from wood like furniture. There are even documented cases that powder post beetles have destroyed houses!

Prevention:

  • Inspect wood sources around the home.
  • Paint or seal any exposed or raw wood in your home.
Merchant Grain Beetles

Merchant Grain Beetles

These beetles have extremely flat bodies. This body shape allows them to crawl into packaged foods to eat, live and reproduce. It only takes them about 3-4 weeks to grow from baby to adult and an adult Merchant Grain beetle can live up to 3 years. 

Merchant Grain beetles can be found all over the world and can live in cooler climates. Once confused with a kind of beetle that does eat grain, the Merchant beetle was scientifically re-categorized, but the name stuck. These beetles get their name because they were commonly found on merchant ships, hiding in organic cargo.

  • Size: 1/10" to 1/8"
  • Shape: Narrow, oval, flat
  • Color: Brown
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Common Name: Merchant Grain Beetle
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Anobiidae
  • Species: Lyctus

Diet:

Merchant grain beetles don’t really eat whole grain products. They are drawn to foods high in fat, such as cereals, cake mixes, macaroni, cookies and chocolate.

Habitat:

Merchant grain beetles are found in pantries or in food processing areas or warehouses.

Impact:

Merchant grain beetles can get into stored food and can contaminate food by laying eggs and leaving waste behind.

Prevention:

  • Discard infested packages.
  • Clean up spilled grain and food.

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