Grain beetles are technically known as stored product insects, often found damaging and contaminating raw materials used in food at home or businesses. Some common foods infested by it are grains, cereals, dried fruits and seeds.
These pests are health hazard to both homes and businesses like food processing plants, restaurants and stores. They can cause enormous economic losses through their damage and contamination of food products.
Identifying and removing the source of the infestation is a critical part of effectively controlling these pests. In particular, businesses like food processing or food storage can greatly benefit from an ongoing professional integrated pest management programme for effective and long term protection against grain beetles.
How to Identify a Beetle
Sometimes people mistake cockroaches for beetles. If the beetle is an adult, it can usually be identified by looking at the wings.
Beetles have well-developed antennae and chewing mouthparts, as well as shell-like front wings known as elytra. These front wings are often very hard and appear more like a shell than wings. The beetle folds the front wings so they cover the back wings. They are durable and waterproof, serving as protection against damage and dehydration. However, unlike many other insects, most beetles are poor fliers. Most adult beetles seem to have a line down their back where the two front wings meet.
Beetles come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Some, like the click beetles, are long and slender. Some beetles like lady beetles and June beetles (also known as June bugs) have an oval or rounded shape. There are even beetles that resemble spiders.
How Did I Get Beetles?
Different materials attract specific types of beetles into homes and yards. Many species seek out stored grains and packaged foods, while others feed on garden plants, wood, or fabric. Homeowners may accidently bring the pests into the house along with infested products.
The search for shelter may also bring beetles indoors. Some of these pests overwinter in homes to avoid cold weather. Beetles may enter the house through cracks in the foundation or gaps around door and window frames. Hiding inside firewood, potted plants, packages, or infested lumber and furniture brought into the home may also enable these pests get indoors.
How Serious Are Beetles?
Beetles are a nuisance because of their ability to damage stored food and property. The pests can ruin furniture, crops, packaged goods, clothes, and decor. Some species even target structural wood and decorative trim in homes. Most beetle species do not bite or carry disease.
How Do You Get Rid of Beetles?
What Orkin Does: There are three basic groups of beetles that may require treatment inside our homes and businesses: food product beetles, wood-destroying beetles and fabric-infesting beetles. While the specific treatment procedures and methods may vary based on the specific diet and habitat of the pest beetle, the components of an effective and efficient treatment closely follow those of a comprehensive integrated pest management (IPM) program.
Inspection & Treatment Plan: When beetles become a pest problem, your pest management professional will provide a thorough inspection to accurately identify the pest beetle. Based on the inspection findings, your pest management professional will develop an effective treatment plan to resolve the pest pressures that are specific to the situation. Accurate identification of the pest is critical since there are many different species of beetles and the specific details required for treatment must be applied to the beetle or beetles that are causing the problems. Otherwise, incorrect identification can result in a treatment plan that does not work effectively for the species of beetle needing control.
Customer Education: Education that explains the beetle’s life cycle and an explanation of why control efforts cannot be directed only where adult beetles are found will be provided. Therefore, the treatment plan will include targeting areas where the immature stages live and taking action so that they do not become adults. Your pest management professional will help the customer recognize beetle damage and the signs and kinds of fabric, wood or foodstuffs that beetles infest. Also, customer education will target the use of re-infestation prevention methods once the pest problem is resolved.
Monitoring: The treatment plan may include using pheromone-based beetle traps that are useful for determining the location of insect development sites and population sizes of fabric, wood and food-infesting beetles.
Insect Growth Regulators: Depending on the situation, your pest management professional may use these products to interrupt and reduce the beetle’s ability to reach reproductive maturity.
Chemical Control: Your pest management professional will use products as a last resort and only when the non-chemical procedures are not sufficient to get rid of the problems. If products are needed, they will be used in accordance with the product’s approved label and use directions.