Do you regularly encounter thick flour beetles in your house, especially in the evenings and at night? Are they usually in dark rooms and do they flee into cracks and crevices as soon as the light comes on? You may be dealing with flour beetles. But where do these beetles come from and how do you get them out of your home as soon as possible? Read more about the flour beetle, prevention, and control in the article below.
Mealybugs are black beetles or beetles that, as the name suggests, belong to the “blackbeetle” family. The flour beetle’s scientific name is Tenebrio Molitor. Like many other beetles, the flour beetle can also fly very well, but it is usually seen walking. Females lay an average of 400 eggs, which resemble a gray-white bean of one millimeter.
The eggs hatch after one and a half to a maximum of three weeks, from which mealworms (larvae) with a length of almost three centimeters develop. Only after twelve to eighteen months do the mealworms pupate into beetles. Pupation takes one to three weeks, depending on the temperature. A flour beetle only lives two to four months.
Beetles go through four stages during their life: egg → larva → pupa → beetle.
However, do not confuse the flour beetle with the horned flour beetle. Although beetles are also called beetles, the horned flour beetle is a different species. They are smaller and chestnut brown in color and they also have a set of clearly developed mandibles (jaws) at the front of their heads.
The flour beetle is almost completely black, except its belly is sometimes brown-black in color. Very striking are the grooves that run lengthwise over the black elytra and the two blades at the front of their heads. Adult beetles have a size of 12 to 18 millimeters.
Mealworms are yellow-brown in color and can grow into a “worm” with a length of about four centimeters. At the front, near their heads, they have three pairs of strong legs (see photo).
Meet beetles are beetles that belong in the Netherlands. They can be found all year round in the garden, shed, and house. The beetles are often seen indoors, especially in spring and summer. This is often the period when they can cause a nuisance. The beetles show themselves mainly in the evening and at night. The insects prefer to hide in corners and prefer to walk along baseboards and edges of cupboards and doors.
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Occasionally a specimen will walk in the middle of a room, but as soon as the light comes on, they quickly run to their hiding place and then wait until the coast is clear again. Mealworms and mealworms can withstand our cold winters and our warm summers very well. Because they can survive well at all temperatures, they are found all over the world.
Both the larvae and the beetles are like plant material. However, they have a great preference for bread and flour (products), but also animal feed (preferably flour), decayed wood, and rags are on their menu. They also eat animal material such as (dead) insects. It is very remarkable that mealworms eat their “own” eggs and pupae, mealworms only eat the eggs, they show this cannibalistic behavior mainly due to lack of food.
Meal beetles (and therefore mealworms) in themselves generally do not do much damage. They are often seen walking around in old houses because they can easily enter our habitat through seams and cracks. The beetles and larvae generally feed on rotten wood, which can be found under the floors, for example, so that they can survive well and then start to multiply.
However, it will be a different story when the beetles and larvae gain access to our food supplies. Products such as flour, pies, pasta, and grain (waste) can infect and contaminate them with, for example, feces. The food will smell stale and flour will become grainy in texture and can eventually start to mold. The beetles can even transmit parasites such as worms, in short, you do not want to find these insects in your stock (closet).
Mealworms are able to drill holes in insulation material and in old wood and cause damage to your home and/or interior.
- With meal beetles, it is important that they cannot get into your habitat, so close as many seams and cracks as possible.
- Stocks of flour and flour products should be stored cool and dry as much as possible and do not store the food for too long.
- Opened packaging is best kept in well-closed storage boxes, cool and dry.
- Remove abandoned bird nests on your roof, which may contain mealworms (or pupae) that were supposed to serve as food for the fry but managed to escape.
Despite all kinds of measures and hygienic housekeeping, you can still find flour beetles in your living environment. If you occasionally come across a beetle, it is best to bring it outside, the beetles will not come back into your house. If you find a lot of beetles in your house, there is probably a place in your house where they lay eggs and the mealworms can then survive. When combating, it is important to trace the source in order to be able to combat effectively.
In the case of pests of flour beetles you can use aerosol against insects, a so-called insecticide spray can. You can then treat the seams and cracks where they come along. Be careful if there are children and pets around, insecticides are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. You can order the sprays online or get them from your local pest control company. For effective treatment, you can also have someone from pest control come to your home. If it concerns a persistent infestation, it is advisable to also call in professional help.
Mealworms As Food For Animals
Mealworms are much better known than mealworms, this is mainly because they are used as food for birds, fish, and terrarium animals. The larvae are fed both dead and alive. With live mealworms, care must be taken that they cannot escape in order to prevent a plague with associated damage to eat.