One of the more annoying—and sometimes destructive—summer pests you may encounter during Maryland’s hot and humid summers is beetles. That’s a rather broad category for many different critters, some of which are perfectly friendly, others of which are not.
There are more than 100 different beetle species in Maryland. The more destructive ones fall into three categories:
- Fabric infesting
- Pantry raiding
- Wood destroying
Let’s take a closer look at each of these so you can be on the lookout should they invade your home.
Fabric Infesting Beetles
The most common culprit here is the carpet beetle—this is a catch-all name for various beetle species, and they don’t necessarily only make home in your carpets or rugs.
The one you’ll most likely see in Maryland is the varied carpet beetle. They’re small (only about 1/8th of an inch) and oval-shaped, typically with alternating brown, black, yellow, and white patterns, though color can vary based on type.
As the name implies, these creatures like to eat fibrous materials—carpets, rugs, drapes, furniture, and clothing. We’ve even heard of them infesting the velvety lining of music instrument cases!
Pantry Raiding Beetles
Like any living creature, beetles need to eat. Unfortunately for humans, that sometimes means eating your stored food! A wide variety of beetles like to invade pantries, including sawtoothed grain beetles, flour weevils, and drugstore beetles.
The most obvious sign you have a pantry raider in your kitchen is that you’ll see them in your food, hopefully before you cook it. Depending on the species, they can get into any type of rice or grain, but some also enjoy munching on loose flour, dried cereal, candy, pet food, potato chips, and pretty much any packaging.
If you encounter any type of creepy crawly hanging out in your pantry, it’s a good idea to inspect your food and discard any infested products. It’s also a good idea to clean out the pantry entirely, scrubbing down shelves with a cleaning product. Finally, make sure to get in as many nooks and crannies as possible, as they tend to like to hang out there.
Wood Destroying Beetles
There are many types of beetles that can potentially be destructive to trees, plants, and even your home and furniture.
Powder post beetles and old house borers are probably the most well-known type of wood-destroying beetle. The females lay their eggs in wood with adequate moisture. When the larva matures, they tunnel their way out, creating holes in the wood—decks, wood furniture, floorboards, support beams, etc. Unfortunately, it may take several years before you see the damage.
If you’re a gardener, you may also need to keep an eye out for a wide variety of plant-eating beetles. These include Japanese beetles, an invasive species with brown and green metallic colored bodies, and Mexican Bean beetles, which look similar to Ladybugs and like to eat legumes (any bean plant, really).
Call In The Pros!
While getting rid of beetles is sometimes reasonably easy, you might have an infestation if you spot large groups of them. It’s best to call an expert in before any real damage occurs. Contact us to get a free assessment and some treatment options.