The darkling beetle is called this name because it hides during the daytime and emerges to eat at night. And darkling beetles come in a wide range of appearances and sizes. There are approximately 20,000 species of darkling beetles, but only around 150 are in the United States. Darkling beetles wreak havoc on the garden plants by eating the seedlings and munching on leaves at ground level. Continue reading to discover more about identifying and controlling these bothersome pests.
What Are Darkling Beetles?
- 1 What Are Darkling Beetles?
- 2 Lifecycle
- 3 Damage Caused By the Darkling Beetles
- 4 Are darkling beetles harmful?
- 5 Do darkling beetles fly?
- 6 How to get rid of Darkling beetles naturally
- 7 How to Prevent Darkling Beetles From Getting into your Home
Do you have a question concerning the mealworm beetle? Stenocara? Or Zophobas morio?
The darkling beetles belong to the beetles. They are known as Tenebrionidae.
It’s tough to offer the right reply because this type of beetle has over 20,000 species.
The most famous beetle species, however, are those utilized as food in the pet trade.
Beetles are a hugely varied group of insects, having over 400,000 species worldwide!
Darkling beetles are often mistaken with all of the other common beetle species seen in the house, such as:
- Soldier beetles
- Asparagus beetles
- Click beetles
- Flea beetles
- Cucumber beetles
- Potato beetles
- Furniture beetles
Species differences exist among these beetles. Because of the beetle’s local habitat and origins, there is a lot of variation.
However, the phenotypes of the common mealworm beetle seen in the pet trade and on poultry farms in the United States are as follows:
- Compound eyes
- Hard exoskeleton
- Tarsal claws
- A ridge has been carved into the eyes.
- The antenna has 11 segments.
- The antenna has 11 segments.
- On the head portion, there are two black eyes.
- There are six visible legs.
- An orange antennae pair
- 3 distinct portions
- The outer elytra has horizontal segments going down it.
- Elongated ovular body
Darkling beetles begin their lives as tiny white eggs under the soil’s surface. The larvae can eat for several weeks after they hatch. They have a worm-like appearance and are light brown or cream. As the larvae mature, they may shed the hard skin up to 20 times. And the larvae can burrow back into the soil to pupate after 3-4 months of eating. They emerge as fully grown beetles, capable of surviving for 20 years or longer if they avoid becoming prey for other creatures.
Damage Caused By the Darkling Beetles
They are mostly an issue in poultry and wooded regions. They are carriers of illnesses that can be deadly. If you have any rotting wood in your house, they may deposit the eggs, resulting in attracting more darkling beetles. And they reproduce more swiftly in the summer. Each year, a female darkling beetle can lay about 2000 eggs. They can wreak havoc on the wooden structures in your house. Many people do not want to let the darkling beetles live in their houses.
Are darkling beetles harmful?
The darkling beetles can’t bite humans, and they don’t carry posions like cantharidin.
They can, however, bite the poultry.
About darkling beetle bites, they are fully harmless to people.
As a result, they are frequently kept as the pets by humans. These darkling beetles may appear frightening, but they aren’t. When you find the darkling beetles moving around on the dry food, bed, or carpet, they’re boresome.
But there are some things you need to know about darkling beetles:
Even though the darkling beetle is harmless, it can move around and eat the organic matter.
These darkling beetles are drawn to waste matter in your house and then eat it if you keep the chickens and other birds.
They can then enter your home or move on the surfaces, where viral vectors and bacteria from the decomposing organic stuff they have crawled on can be transmitted.
They’re also quite widespread in the poultry farms and facilities since they give enough food for these pests.
They’ll dig through grass, grains, twigs, dung, and other organic debris to get to the food they need.
Darkling beetles also eat the poultry blood, biting through the skin of ducks, birds, chickens, and other animals to get the nourishing blood inside.
They bring a variety of illnesses with them and transfer them to humans and poultry as they’re so dirty.
The following are some of the viruses, bacteria, and other viruses that have been documented as being transmitted from the beetles to humans:
- E. coli
- Avail influenza
Finally, darkling beetles can be harmful. They can gnaw through wood and other insulating materials.
Like termites, their burrowing and gnawing can compromise the structural integrity of your property over time.
If you have a major beetle infestation, this can put your stairs, stairways, and possibly the house’s foundation at risk.
Do darkling beetles fly?
Some darkling beetles can fly, but The vast majority do not.
Darkling beetles are not a single species but rather a family of the beetles. The most of them are unable to fly because their elytra are bonded to their bodies.
Because there are over 20,000 species, it’s difficult to tell which ones can fly and which can’t.
Other darkling beetles, on the other hand, have functional wingspans and can fly. Darkling beetles are flying beetles that can be found flying over your home or the chicken coop.
The ones you purchase at the pet store that turn into mealworms, on the other hand, are unable to fly. It depends on the darkling beetle species.
Here’s a quick method to know:
- Mealworm beetles are not able to fly.
- Most of the beetles are unable to fly.
- However, there are some beetles that can fly.
They’re terrible fliers that only fly when they’re looking for food.
They will seldom leave the area where there are cover and food.
Some people know that the darkling beetles that have infested their house don’t fly, but suddenly they can do so in other places.
They’ll fall down after running into the walls, objects, and ceiling. They are very simple to catch and kill.
Also Read: How To Get Rid Of Carpet Beetles In Couch
How to get rid of Darkling beetles naturally
Darkling beetles are difficult to eradicate using insecticides. You can also be aware that killing the insects that if you use the insecticides to kill the darkling beetles also can harm the insects that can eat the beetle larvae and beetles. Eliminating their food supplies and hiding areas is the safest way to remove these beetles.
Remove weeds from the garden and keep them weed-free.
Keep your garden weed-free and eradicate weeds from your garden’s edges. For darkling beetle seeking cover throughout the day, dense weeds provide a secure sanctuary. Remove any stones, mud clods, or pieces of wood that may provide cover.
Remove water sources
To survive, darkling beetles require a supply of water.
They may live for weeks without the water or food, but they will ultimately need to drink the water. If you consistently eliminate all sources of water, they will leave.
Because the beetle’s molt, they require enough moisture. To grow, they need to drink. The water is a necessity for both the adult beetles and larvae.
To control the number of darkling beetles in the kitchen, remove any liquid source. This suggests that you need to dry and remove the water after washing your dishes, hands, and other items.
Clean up any water spillage at once. Poultry farms and chicken coops are examples of places where dry items and water are available.
Check for leaks and plumbing outside your house as well.
Prevent puddles and moist areas from accumulating underneath the water spouts, drain ways, sprinklers, and other sources of water. Thrips, plaster bagworms, and mosquitoes will all be attracted to the standing water.
If you have the stagnant water, you need to clean it up as soon as possible and remove whatever can give the water to the darkling beetles.
Use boric acid
Boric acid is an inexpensive, simple, and efficient method to get rid of the darkling beetles.
Boric acid, when consumed, causes darkling beetles to be dehydrated. Add the powder into the food supply.
The darkling beetles will die quickly after consuming it due to the microincision it does inside their bodies.
On the exterior, the sharp crystals rip apart their exoskeleton. And keep humans and pets at a safe distance. Wind and water may diminish the powder’s effectiveness.
You may also assist repel them by dusting the most popular areas of your house. The boric acid powder quickly enters crevices and gaps where sprays and traps can’t use.
Use it correctly according to the instructions.
Removing their hiding areas and food sources
The first thing you should do is eliminate all food resources. And they prefer to hide among rotting soil and trees. You should inspect the areas where there are infected leaves and rotting woods. It will assist you in getting rid of the darkling beetles in your home or the surrounding region. These critters like to stay away from strong lights and can only be found in the dark areas. Therefore, they’re easy to spot in the shallow and dark places in your house. It also prevents their predators from finding them. These insects can deposit the eggs in the rotting wood as well.
Inspect For the nests of the birds
Check your home for bird nests if you notice the beetle activity.
Mealworms are occasionally seen in the bird nests as they are transported a long distance back to the nest. Remove any that you discover in your soffits or loft.
If you find some mealworm beetles in your house, the bird’s nests might be the source.
How to Prevent Darkling Beetles From Getting into your Home
A darkling beetle infestation can be prevented by using excellent solutions.
Allow at least two weeks between the flocks to clean and sanitize the facility and equipment fully. In this, you can also use the residual pesticides to unoccupied barns.
Many pesticides can cause the darkling beetles to develop resistance. It’s critical to have a plan in the place that targets darkling beetle resistance as part of integrated pest management.
Keep the litter in the poultry areas clean and dry. The water, as previously said, should be examined for leaks on a regular basis. Remove any damp bedding from the area. You need to clean the litter at least once every two to three months.
A darkling beetle infestation may happen if you don’t store the food well in the home. To prevent the darkling beetles, you need to keep your house and facilities clean.
Water is required for the survival of the darkling beetles. Check for the leaks in your water and pipes. You can be unwittingly creating a favorable condition for the darkling beetles.