American spider beetles, also known as black spider beetles, are stored-product pests. You may find them infesting your kitchen cupboards or other areas where food is stored. Here are four things you need to know about American spider beetles.
What do they look like?
These beetles are small with rounded abdomens. They are typically between 1.5 and 3.5 millimeters long, with long, thin legs and antennae. Their heads and legs are dull yellow or light brown, while their rounded abdomens range from red to black.
American spider beetles look very similar to bed bugs that have recently taken a blood meal, so you may be alarmed when you discover them. However, American spider beetles have shiny bodies and fine hairs on their heads and legs, while bed bugs do not.
Are they found throughout America?
American spider beetles have a very large range. They're found throughout the United States as well as throughout the rest of both North and Central America. Within their range, they can be found anywhere that food products are stored. This includes warehouses, stores, and homes. In your house, you may find them inside your food packages, in your cupboards, or in sheltered areas.
How do they differ from other pantry pests?
These beetles will eat cereal, chocolate, nuts, seeds, and other foods, like other pantry pests do, but they also feed on a lot of non-food items throughout your home. Here are some of the other things they will eat:
These eating habits make it harder for you to control them. Other pantry pests can be controlled by storing your food in glass bins with tight-fitting lids, but American spider beetles will still find plenty of food to eat in that situation. If they can't access any of the food in your kitchen, they'll spread throughout your house looking for clothes, books, and wood to eat.
How can you control them?
To get rid of American spider beetles, you'll need to monitor them to find out what they're feeding on. An easy way to monitor pest activity is to put glue traps around your home. Some of the traps will catch more beetles than others, and then you know to focus your attention on those areas.
Once you've figured out where they're breeding, remove those items. This may involve throwing out some of your stored food. Books, clothes, and other items that you don't want to throw out can be treated by putting them in the freezer.
Pesticides aren't usually necessary for controlling these beetles, but if you have a particularly stubborn infestation, don't hesitate to contact a pest control company like Select Pest Control.