Beetles are a diverse group of insects that can cause significant damage to homes and properties, with some species feeding on wood and others targeting fabrics, stored products, and ornamental plants.
SEVERAL VARIETIES OF BEETLES CALL FLORIDA HOME
In the United States, almost 30,000 varieties of beetles exist, with that number growing annually as new types are identified. Many of these varieties can be found in Florida, and their appearance inside homes and businesses isn’t uncommon. Of the varieties living in the state, ground beetles make up a large portion. Ground beetles are easy to identify, as their bodies are shiny and black or very dark brown. While they may look like cockroaches at first glance, the antennae on beetles are very short in comparison to roaches. Unlike cockroaches, they are equipped with pincer-like mandibles to help them attack and consume other insects.
Most often, ground beetles live outdoors near rocks or vegetation. They are most active during the night and their attraction to light makes them an often unwelcome surprise to homeowners flipping on their outside lights. The pests are fairly harmless and are a good thing to have around your home as they eat other insects and their larvae. However, they provide an annoyance if they find their way inside. If they do make it in, you will most likely find them in damp spaces such as garages and basements.
Ever notice those small piles of sand in your yard without an apparent entrance? Those were likely built by dung beetles. Unlike ground beetles, this variety resides underground, digging tunnels multiple feet deep to create a home to reproduce and live. They even keep these tunnels stocked with decaying vegetation so they have a constant food source. Like other beetle varieties, dung beetles can be beneficial for your home. They aerate the soil as they dig and cycle and distribute nutrients within it.
Carpet beetles aren’t as common in Florida as the humidity is detrimental to egg maturation during the reproductive process. However, the variety does inhabit the state in some capacity and can be fairly destructive if they inhabit an indoor space. This is due to their diet, which includes grains and cereals as well as upholstery, carpet, and other fabrics. Generally, excessive damage occurs when the existence of carpet bugs goes unnoticed – usually when it occurs in low-traffic areas like attics.
Nearly 100 species of ladybugs live in Florida. While the most recognizable types are red with black spots, ladybug colors can be inverted (black with red spots) or they may have no spots at all. Like the other beetle types, ladybugs carry some benefits, including helping to control mite and aphid populations.
June bugs, also known as May bugs for their annual appearance during springtime, vary in color – with some yellow or brownish red and others dark brown. The adult insects feed on plant foliage but generally don’t cause much harm. When damage occurs is before the adults appear in Spring. June bugs spend the majority of their life as larvae, or white grub, living underground and feeding on tree and plant roots. Over time, the presence of a large quantity of white grub in a yard can seriously damage its plant life.
PREVENTING AND TREATMENT OF A BEETLE INFESTATION
For the most part, beetles are relatively harmless – especially when compared to other pests that carry disease or destroy a home’s foundation. In some respect, beetles are beneficial to have around. From encouraging plant decomposition to reducing the population of troublesome insects, beetles can be a welcome inhabitant of any home – as long as they remain outside. Occasionally finding a beetle inside isn’t necessarily an issue. Simply vacuuming up the pest or transporting it outside will do. However, there are certain steps to take to keep beetle sightings at a minimum.
As with all household pests, general cleanliness is one of the most important precautions you can take as a homeowner to defend the home against a beetle infestation. Keeping kitchens and pantries clean and storing food in sealed containers are both recommended. With beetles’ attraction to light sources, it’s also important to ensure there are no available entrances for the pests to enter the home near any external lights. This means properly sealing all windows and doors and repairing any torn screens immediately.
The occasional beetle inside is one thing. However, if you discover you have more than the occasional one – it may be a sign of an issue. An inspection by a local pest control expert is the best way to identify if there is an issue and its severity. A pest inspection from Knockout Pest Control means quick identification of a pest issue if present as well as recommendations for treatment and prevention of future infestations. With over 20 years of experience treating pests in Northeast Florida, our team of experts is ready when an issue occurs – generally responding the same day. If you suspect a beetle or any other pest infestation, contact the team at Knockout Pest Control today!