Beetles are part of the insect group with the largest number of species. Beetles belong to the order Coleoptera, meaning “sheathed wing”. They are characterized as such because of their protective outer layering that surrounds the soft abdominal and wing areas.
Beetles can be agricultural pests or saviors. Certain species such as the boll weevil (Anthonomus grandis), Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum), and the cowpea or mungbean beetle (Callosobruchus maculatus) are considered pests. Conversely, beetles in the family Coccinellidae, such as the ladybugs or ladybirds, serve as effective pesticides because they consume scale insects, aphids, thrips, and other plant-sucking insects that harm crops.
Most beetles have beneficial uses for humans, one way or another; however, there are some that are strictly pestiferous. Most pestiferous beetles are non-native and invasive species that have no natural enemies to balance out their population.
Beetle control can be difficult. With globalization and the efficiency of traveling these days, the chances of introducing predatory and invasive species of beetles, and other insects for that matter, has increased.
Newer techniques regarding pest control, including the introduction of species who feed on pestiferous beetles, are being developed and tested in most Western countries, especially the United States, before being applied as part of national health programs.
Once you spot a pestiferous beetle infestation, it’s best to contact experts or the local government. Pests within residential properties or communities can cause social disturbance, physical damage, and even psychological impairment. Act as soon as possible. Make sure the authorities perform their duties properly so you won’t have to deal with beetles again!
General Pestiferous Beetle Control
- Insecticidal Soap. This relatively innocuous agent kills beetles that eat plants in your house, especially in the garden. Castille soap mixed with a moderate amount of water makes a perfect organic insecticidal soap spray. The mixture can be applied to almost all plant species without harming or killing them.Using insecticidal soap prudently. Some pestiferous beetles can be beneficial for your garden, as well. Eliminating every pestiferous insect may not be advisable and might only ruin the garden. Keep in mind, it’s a good idea to make a positive identification of the pests before doing any pest control.
- A Clean House Equates Healthy Living. Good house cleaning is arguably the best and simplest form of controlling beetle population indoors. Cleaning the house regularly and meticulously will help you maintain a pest-free home.When it comes to dealing with indoor pests like insects that feed on organic fabrics, carpets, washing clothes, and rugs, it’s best to wash the fabrics with hot water and soap regularly. The carpet beetle is an example of a pest that feeds on fabrics and makes them home. Vacuuming the house regularly can also keep pests such as Asian beetles from forming large populations and ruining the cleanliness of the place.
- Beetle Traps. Traditional beetle traps come in different forms, shapes, and sizes. Not all trapping devices are effective in eliminating pests. Studies have shown that there are models of beetle traps that attract more beetles than they capture, which may lead to a larger infestation. Compare the different traps available, and get the opinion of an expert if you nee it.
- Milky Spore. This is a powdered-form pest control that is often used to control Japanese beetles. Milky Spore is a bacteria that attacks Japanese beetle grubs and passes on a deadly infection to them. The solution can be passed from one grub to the next.It’s likely that the mixture will kill the grubs of other species of beetles as well. The downside of Milky Spore, though, is its slow effectiveness trigger. It takes a long time for the mixture to completely kick in and achieve maximum potency; it will take between one to five years of regular application to attain maximum effectiveness. The upside, however, is its capability; once you have cultivated a large enough population of the bacterium, it will keep the house free from pests for decades to come.
A Beetle Predicament: Who’s Who?
Confusion regarding beetle identification is common. Most non-experts do not know how to distinguish beneficial beetles from pestiferous ones. Lady beetles, also called ladybugs or ladybirds, are beneficial bugs for they scavenge gardens and lawns in search of pestiferous insects such as mites, bugs, and parasites. However, lady beetles look more destructive than beneficial and are often eliminated inconsiderately. They are often mistaken for pestiferous multi-colored Asian lady beetles, cucumber beetles, Mexican bean beetles, or potato beetles.
It is the responsibility of every home or garden owner to be knowledgeable about bugs and their contributions to various ecosystems. Not all insects are pests, and pest control is different from unwarranted insect elimination.
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