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spider beetle

Spider Beetle

Common Name: Spider Beetle
Scientific Name: Ptininae

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Despite their name, spider beetles are in fact beetles and not spiders.  They get their name from their spider-like appearance and long legs.  Spider beetles are a type of scavenger and pantry pest that are common in homes, warehouses, and food storage facilities.


What a spider beetle looks like depends on the specific species.  Common species include: the American spider beetle, the brown spider beetle, the hairy spider beetle, the whitemarked spider beetle, and the Australian spider beetle.

While all species are slightly different, they have many of the same characteristics.  Spider beetles are oval in shape and have a large globe-like abdomen, long legs, and a head that is usually not visible when viewed from above.  Spider beetles generally range in length from 1/16th to 3/16th of an inch; and most are brownish-black in color.  The larvae of almost all species are c-shaped, cream in color, and have light brown heads.


Female spider beetles lay their eggs in materials that the larvae can feed on when they hatch from their egg; these things are generally broken grains, grain products, and flour.  When the larvae hatch, they spin a silk web around the surface of the food that they are eating.  The larvae pupate after boring a hole into wood or cardboard boxes.  They remain hidden in the pupal state until the following spring when they emerge as adults.


Spider beetles are rarely seen by people because they are active mainly at night or are hiding in dark, unnoticeable areas.  They prefer to feed on cereal and cereal products like wheat, barley, and rye; they like to feed on food that is moldy or old and unusable.  Spider beetle are scavengers and also feed on feces and other dead insects.
Along with contaminating food sources, when the larvae bore holes into wood in homes and other buildings in order to pupate they leave behind noticeable scarring.  These stored product pests are problematic in homes, but cause much more of an issue in large food storage warehouses.


The best way to prevent problems with these pests in your home is to reduce humidity levels by using de-humidifiers, especially in food storage areas.  It is also important to maintain clean pantry and kitchen areas- vacuum up crumbs and get rid of old, expired items.  Also, be sure to inspect food packing for holes or tears before purchasing them and bringing them into your home.


The most effective way to control spider beetles in your home is with the help of a professional pest control expert.  At Rottler Lawn & Pest Solutions a trained technician will inspect your home and find all the areas where they are hiding, breeding, and living.  If treatment for these pests is needed, we can do so through our year-round home pest control services.
If signs of spider beetles are noticed in your Missouri home, call the pest control experts at Rottler today!

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