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Beetles form the largest insect order, including 40% of all the named insect species worldwide. Most enviroments have been colonised and many serious agricultural pest species exist. Some do considerable damage to stored foods, building structures and fabric and fibres.
Some of the significant pest species are listed below;
- Larder Beetle(Dermestes lardarius) It is about 7-9mm long, has short clubbed antennae and a convex elongate-oval shape. It naturally occurs in bird nets. Also found in poultry units animal feed mills and domestic premises. They feed on high protein diets.
- Fur Beetle(Attagenus pellio) The adult is 4-5mm long, clubbed antennae, shiney black and has two white spots at the base of the pro-thorax also one spot on each wing case. It is common in birds nests, domestic premises, museums and animal units. The damage is done by the larvae feeding on fabrics, clothing, furs, stuffed specimens.
- Variegated Carpet Beetle(Anthrenus verbasci) The adult is up to 4mm in length, very short clubbed antennae and the wing cases are white, pale yellow, brown & black. They are common in birds nests, domestic premises and museums. The damage is done by the larvae, these are called ‘woolley bears’ feeding on woollen carpets, clothing, furs and museum specimens. The adults are harmless.
- Australian Spider Beetle(Ptinus tectus) About 2.5-4mm long, long simple antennae, mid-brown, overall appearance is like a spider. It is found in birds nests and is overall a food storage scavenger preferring to feed on high animal protein content. It will also attack cereal products, dried fruit, pulses, spices dog biscuits. Larvae damage the packaging.
- Yellow Mealworm Beetle(Tenebrio molitor) 15mm long, medium length antennae without club, slightly shiny black or very dark brown. They are widespread throughout Britain and are associated scavengers in birds nests, on droppings or dead birds. They are associated with poor hygiene or debris.
- Biscuit Beetle(Stegobium paniceum) 2-3mm long, mid to dark brown overall colour with a loose 3-segmented antennae club. Found worldwide and is a pest of food stores and domestic larders, feeding on cereal products, spices and a wide range of dried foodstuffs. Can penetrate food packaging. This is one of the more serious food industry pests.