Facts About Spider Beetles
This deceptive beetle gets its name from its resemblance to another creepy, crawly insect: the spider. They are small with long legs and large, rounded bodies. This is what often accounts for the misconception. If their identity crisis wasn’t bad enough, they’ve also gotten the bad rap of being mistaken for bed bugs. There are several varieties of spider beetles: the American spider beetle, the whitemarked spider beetle, and the smooth spider beetle. These beetles are not as common as others, but if you have them, they’ll most likely be found in any places you store food.
Spider Beetle Bites
Spider beetles do not bite humans, but they will attack many things in your house. These scavengers will eat anything from dried food products and wool to hair and animal droppings. Food contamination is the biggest worry with these pests.
Life Cycle & Behavior
Each of these species of spider beetles have almost identical life cycles. You’ll find them reproducing in or on almost anything. Food, animals, paper products, hair, wood, and fabric are just some of the places they are most commonly seen.
The female spider beetle will lay up to 120 eggs over a course of 3 to 4 weeks in the late spring and early summer. These eggs will be found in a variety of places like stored food or on the leaves of plants. It can take up to a month for the eggs to hatch into larvae. This stage will last between 5 to 8 months before they reach pupation, which lasts up to one month. In all, their development cycle takes around 12 months to complete. Once they reach adulthood, spider beetles will live for up to a year.
Spider beetles aren’t picky when it comes to their environment, either. They can be active in cooler climates, even those that are below freezing. However, reproduction is at its finest in temperatures that are warm and humid. If these conditions exist during mating seasons, up to two generations can be produced within a year’s time.
While the spider beetle bears a resemblance to spiders and bed bugs, they’re not dangerous to humans. Instead, they’re just a nuisance. If there is an infestation, they’ll be in your pantry more often than you are. Spider beetles will be found in your cereals, dried fruits, grains, and spices. They’re also seen in upholstered furniture, stuffed animals, and wood. While you might see them around food, their actual nesting grounds might be within walls or up in an attic, making them hard to locate.
Types of Spider Beetles
American & Smooth Spider Beetle
Both the American spider beetle and the smooth spider beetle are similar in shape and size. They range in length from 1.5 to 3.5 millimeters. The body of both beetles is a dark, reddish-brown or a shiny black. The American spider beetle has a head, thorax, legs, and antennae covered in cream or yellow-colored hair. The smooth spider beetle, however, is the same darkish color all over, causing it to resemble a mite at times.
Whitemarked Spider Beetle
The whitemarked spider beetle, as you might expect, is characterized by patches of white hair across its wings. As time goes on, older beetles lose this white coloration. The rest of the body is a light brown and it will measure anywhere from 2 to 4.3 millimeters in length. Males are differentiated from females by their longer, thinner abdomens.
Spider Beetles in the House
These beetles love a midnight snack, often foraging at night for any food they can find. Unless you’re a night owl, you might not even know they’re in your house. If you have any damp spaces or even spoiled food, you might be surprised by a few of these unwanted visitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get rid of spider beetles in the home?
In order to keep the spider beetle out of your home, it is essential to keep it clean. Get rid of any old or expired food that may attract them in the first place. Try to keep any new foods in air-tight containers to prevent any further contamination. Always make sure to thoroughly clean and sweep any areas where food is handled. While this should discourage the beetles from feeding, this may not completely get rid of your problem because these beetles feed on so many different things.
If you’re unable to trace where the beetles are coming from, use sticky traps where you see them most often. Then, focus the traps on the sections where you are catching the most. This should help identify where they are coming from.
To further discourage the beetles from coming inside, try to fill any cracks or crevices in your home, and then spray with an insecticide. If the problem persists, you may need to contact a pest management company that will have access to a wider variety of pesticides and insecticides.
What are the Benefits fo Professional Spider Beetle Pest Control?
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a spider beetle problem. Finding and treating the spider beetles can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the spider beetle infestation.