SPIDER BEETLE EXTERMINATION AT

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Spider beetles are names so since they are Beetles that look like a Spider in a glance. These are general scavengers. They feed on a variety of items, such as cereals, seeds, flour, meat, dried fruits and vegetables, fish food, dead insects, rodent droppings, old wood, cayenne pepper, roots, cocoa, sugar, drugs, and spices. Common sites of infestation in the house include wall voids and drop ceilings. Spider beetles are primarily warehouse pests, attacking various seeds and certain whole grains, such as wheat, barley, rye, and flax.

Also, serious infestations have been found in flour and feeds, such as bran shorts and meal preparations. Larvae cause a typical “scarring” of the wood in buildings in the formation of pupal cells prior to pupation. Spider beetles sometimes become prominent cereal pests in Canada and the northern United States. Some have been found quite active even during freezing weather. They do not bite or sting humans or pets, spread diseases, or feed on or damage the house or furniture.

Spider Beetle Appearance

Adult spider beetles are minute oval or cylindrical insects with long legs resembling giant mites or small spiders. The head is often hidden when viewed from above. They are 1/16- to 3/16-inch long with long filamentous antennae (usually 11 segmented) arising on the front of the head close together at the base. Most are brownish-black with a large, globe-like abdomen and the prothorax (first segment behind the head) constricted at the base of the wing covers. Larvae are C-shaped or grub-like and cream-colored with short legs. The segmented abdomen contains many long hairs.

The hairy spider beetle is reddish-brown with two irregular- shaped white patches on each wing cover. The whitemarked spider beetle has a reddish-brown body covered with yellow hairs; the females have two white patches on each wing cover that join to form two transverse bands. The brown spider beetle is uniformly dark brown without scales on the wing covers. The American spider beetle is dark, reddish-brown to nearly black with a shining subglobular body. The Australian spider beetle is dark reddish-brown and the wing covers are covered with golden brown or yellowish hairs.

A Spider Beetle.

Spider Beetle

Another Image of Spider Beetle

Life Cycle and Habits

Adult hairy spider beetles usually appear during the spring. The female lays up to 40 eggs. Eggs are spindle-shaped, pearly, and about 1/32-inch long. Eggs may be laid on the outside of the grain sacks or in flour debris in cracks and corners. Eggs hatch into larvae that reach a body length of almost 1/8 inch. Cream-colored larvae with brown heads develop in three months and molt three times with a pupal cell in the flour debris. Larvae often bore into wood or cardboard boxes to overwinter in the pupal cell with actual pupation occurring the following spring. Some spider beetles can remain active during the cold months, especially in older buildings where sources of food have accumulated. Spider beetles may become pests in homes, warehouses, grain mills, museums, etc. They are attracted to moisture, excrement, and abandoned animal nests.

For prevention practice strict sanitation measures. Thoroughly clean storage facilities beforehand by use of a strong suction vacuum cleaner to eliminate favorable development places. Inspect stored foods routinely and eliminate any dampness or high humidity conditions. Eliminate rodents, birds, and other insects as spider beetles feed on feces and dead insects.

Control Measures

Spider beetles are primarily pests of cereal products, which often remain in storage for long periods. Serious infestations have been found in flour, bran feeds, and meal preparations. Sometimes, infestations are detected by the typical “scarring” of the wood in buildings by the larvae during the formation of pupal cells before pupation occurs.

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