What are beetles?
Beetles are insects with some unique physical features that help to identify them. While each species varies in size, shape, and color, all beetles have a distinct line down their back where their outer wings meet. Speaking of wings, the beetles have a unique wing structure; their first pair of wings are hard and provide a protective shell for the second pair of more delicate wings located underneath them that they use for flying.
Some of the most common species of beetles in our area that find their way into our homes include:
- Ladybugs: The ladybug has a domed-shaped body that is oval. These insects come in a variety of color patterns, including red with black spots. Other colors include yellow, orange, or pink with dark markings. Sometimes ladybugs can even be solid in color.
- Stick bugs: Stick bugs are another type of pest that sometimes find their way into our Alabama homes. They are not beetles but have a unique physical structure like beetles. Stick bugs are easy to recognize due to their long, slender, oval bodies and narrow legs. These insects easily camouflage themselves to resemble a tree twig.
- Powderpost beetles: Adult powderpost beetles have long, flattened, narrow bodies that are reddish-brown or black. Their size and shape allow them to move into pieces of wood through any small opening they discover.
- House borers: The house borer is a type of longhorn beetle. These beetles have elongated oval bodies, long antennae, and are black to gray. They have patches of hair on their wing covers and thorax. These pests are often identified by the distinctive rasping or clicking sound we hear when they feed.
Beetles come in all shapes and sizes, and getting them out of your home is best left to a home pest control professional.
Are beetles dangerous?
Some beetles are more dangerous than others. For instance, ladybugs help feed on and control aphids and other garden pests when they are outside in our gardens. When they move into our homes to overwinter, they become annoying and unwanted pests.
Stick bugs feed on the leaves of plants and trees. Large stick bugs can cause some damage to the plant they are feeding on, but in most cases, their feeding habits only cause minor damage and no real harm to the plant.
Powderpost beetles and house borers pose more danger because they are wood-destroying insects. Both species cause damage to wood and wooden structures when they get into our homes.
Why do I have a problem with beetles?
Some beetles, like lady beetles, become a problem in our homes after moving inside to overwinter. When the weather cools, these beetles look for a place to overwinter; the warm, sunny exteriors of our homes attract them. They find their way inside through spaces around windows, doors, and damaged siding as they move along the walls.
The problem with ladybugs in our homes is that it isn't just one or two that find a way inside, but hundreds or thousands. Though many view ladybugs as lucky, most would agree that having have your house taken over by ladybugs is unlucky!
Powderpost beetles primarily become a problem after finding their way into homes in the larval stage through already infested pieces of wooden furniture or wood products.
New construction homes are most susceptible to problems with house borers because the females prefer to lay their eggs in the cracks and crevices of logs or wood stored in lumberyards.
Where will I find beetles?
When ladybugs get into our homes to overwinter, they gather in dark, quiet areas. People typically only see ladybugs as they are moving in or out of their homes; otherwise, they are likely hiding in attics, behind wall voids, under floors, or in crawl spaces.
If you come across something in your home that doesn't look like a beetle but rather a stick, it is likely a walking stick that has found its way inside, usually on a plant that was outside that you brought in. It is common to see them around windows, doorways, or hanging out on walls when they are not on a plant.
Female powderpost beetles lay their eggs on the surface or just underneath the surface of pieces of wood. When the eggs hatch, the larvae begin feeding on the wood, damaging it in the process. Flooring, structural timbers, antique furniture, and wood trim are regularly invaded and damaged by powderpost beetles.
Adult house borers females lay their eggs in the cracks and crevices of logs and wood. Old house borers most commonly infest pine, spruce, and coniferous wood.
How do I get rid of beetles?
When beetles find their way into our homes, the best way to get them out and keep them out is by partnering with a professional. Trust the Birmingham pest management professionals at Pest Control Experts to find, identify and eliminate beetles from your Alabama property.
We will provide you with the residential and commercial exterminator services necessary to maintain a pest-free home or business in the most eco-friendly manner possible through our Pure Organix program. The Pure Organix program offers interior and exterior protection against pests using organic and botanical insecticides.
Since 2011 we have been protecting homes and the environment. We know that having beetles and other pests in your home is frustrating, and we want to make the process of eliminating them as easy and stress-free as possible. Contact Pest Control Experts today if you live in the Birmingham area and want the best protection possible against beetles, stick bugs, and other common household pests!
How can I prevent beetles in the future?
Use the following simple strategies and tips to prevent problems with beetles:
- Make sure weatherstripping is intact around windows and doors to help keep adult beetles from finding a way into your home.
- Inspect wooden furniture, wood beams, and structural wood for signs of wood-boring insects before bringing it into your home.
- Make sure any lumber used inside your home has been kiln-dried to kill wood-destroying insects.
- Inspect potted plants for beetles like ladybugs or stick bugs before bringing them into your home.