Florida is also home to many beetles. Some of these beetles are also damaging pests.
Knowing what draws these beetles to your home and the things they target are essential to controlling them.
So, in this guide, you’ll find the seven most common beetles in Florida homes you must know as a Florida resident.
You’ll find out when these beetles are active, why they enter homes, and what you can do to eliminate them and stop them.
Most Common Beetles In Homes Of Florida
The seven most common beetles in Florida homes are –
- Carpet beetles
- Powderpost beetles
- Rice weevil
- Drugstore beetles
- Cigarette beetles
- Bark beetle
- Click beetles
These beetles are common across the US. But Florida’s hot and humid weather makes beetles, and many bugs species in Florida, remain active longer throughout the year.
So, when do these beetles enter Florida homes? And why?
Let’s deep dive into these Florida beetles and find out how you can stop and get rid of them.
Carpet Beetles In Florida
Carpet beetles are the most common beetles in the South that enter homes. Not only in Florida, but these beetles are also a nuisance in states like Texas, Louisiana, and Arizona.
Carpet beetles are tiny brown beetles with white spots on them. As they get older, carpet beetles can turn dark brown or black bugs.
The spotted carpet beetles are known as variegated carpet beetles. And these beetles are active starting from the late spring.
In Florida, they can remain active most of the time the year. However, in the rest of the US, they become inactive in the late fall months.
Outdoors, carpet beetles will feed on the pollen and flower’s nectar.
But during the mating season, spring and summer, carpet beetles will look for a place to lay their eggs.
Outdoors carpet beetles will lay eggs on dead bugs, rodents, and insects.
But carpet beetles also lay their eggs inside your homes. And that’s why these beetles invade Florida homes.
Carpet beetles can fly. So, they fly through open doors and windows. They’re also effective crawlers.
And hence they can also sneak inside through the cracks and holes in the walls, window frames, and doors.
The light from the light bulbs attracts carpet beetles. Believe it or not, the light from your home can draw many bugs inside.
So, the likelihood of carpet beetles sneaking inside your home is also more during dusk and dawn when you’re using light bulbs.
The places where carpet beetles lay their eggs are stored food in your kitchen pantry and on products made of natural fabrics like wool, leather, fur, and silk.
So, on top of targeting your stored food, carpet beetles will also target things like woolen rugs and carpets, taxidermies, and clothes made of natural fibers in your closet.
But why do carpet beetles lay eggs in these places?
Stored food, dead bugs and insects, and natural fabrics are food for the carpet beetle larvae.
Ironically, the adult carpet beetles don’t cause much damage. The larvae that feed on stored food and natural fibers cause the damage.
Carpet beetle larvae are tiny brownish-black worms with hairy bristles that can even crawl onto your bed.
The larvae will feed on the expensive fabrics and chew in different places. That’ll lead to irreparable damage to the fabric.
Also, they’ll feed on the stored food like grains and cereals. And after feeding, they’ll also discard their poop on the stored food.
It makes the food stale, and the infested food can emit an odor too.
Powderpost Beetles In Florida
Powderpost beetles are woodboring beetles. These are widespread pests in the Florida coastal areas, especially on the east coast.
Powderpost beetles have oblong bodies with a hooded head and two antennae. They’re dark reddish brown and can grow up to 3/8th of an inch long.
When people think about woodboring insects, they can only think about termites.
But that’s not the case. There are woodboring beetles, and Powderpost beetles are one of them.
Powderpost beetles are active all through the spring and summer.
And that’s the time when they lay eggs.
Powderpost beetles will bore inside the wood to lay their eggs. And upon laying the eggs, they will fly out and die.
The egg-laying phase is the last phase of the Powderpost beetle’s life.
Powderpost beetles’ larvae can remain inside the wood for five years, chewing the wood from inside and making it weak.
When they mature into adult Powderpost beetle, they’ll drill holes in the wood from the inside and fly out.
After flying out, they’ll mate. And target a new home to lay their eggs.
Powderpost beetles target unpolished wood to lay their eggs. That’s why the structural lumber of your home is their prime target.
Multiple Powderpost beetles can bore into the wood to lay their eggs. And that’s where the risk lies.
The larvae will feed on the wood from the inside, making it weak and brittle.
The worst part?
It’s quite hard to detect a Powderpost beetle infestation. Because, unlike termites, the feeding larvae inside the wood don’t show any signs.
There’s no discharge of feces, wooden pellets, or mud tubes visible on the infested wood like termite infestation.
But when the larvae mature into adults and bore out of the wood, fine sawdust will be under the wooden structure.
The sawdust and tiny holes on the wood are the only signs of Powderpost beetles’ presence.
Powderpost beetles are impossible to get rid of with DIY ways. And they can weaken the structural integrity of your home.
So, sightings of tiny holes on wood and sawdust must alert you, and you should call a pest controller for an inspection.
Rice Weevils In Florida
Pantry pests are a big problem in kitchens of Florida homes. There are many types of kitchen bugs that invade kitchens, including pests like ants and palmetto bugs.
But the most common food bug in pantries of Florida homes is the rice weevils.
Rice weevils are oval-shaped tiny brown beetles that infest grains like rice, lentils, peas, and even flour.
You can easily recognize them. The mouth of rice weevils has a snout or a beak that they insert into grains to suck out the nutrients.
That causes the grains to lose their vigor, nutritional value, and freshness.
And rice weevils will also lay their eggs and discard their feces on the stored grain. That contaminates the food and makes the food stale.
Rice weevils enter homes through open doors and windows. They’re also one of those bugs that light attracts.
Rice weevils love dampness too. So, they can also hide in your bathroom along with your kitchen.
The best part is that rice weevils don’t bite. Neither their presence in your stored food spread any diseases.
The only problem is that rice weevils are nuisance beetles. If you don’t get rid of them, they’ll multiply fast and can spread all over the home.
Drugstore Beetles In Florida Homes
Another common pest of stored food in Florida homes is the drugstore beetles.
Drugstore beetles are worse than rice weevils because they can infest a wide variety of stored food in your kitchen pantry.
They can even infest stored pet food.
Given Florida’s hot and humid weather, drugstore beetles are more common here than in the states with temperate and colder climates.
Drugstore beetles are reddish brown, tiny (adult ones grow only up to 1/7th of an inch), oblong shaped, a pair of three-segmented antennae, and have wings and hairy bristles on the wing pads.
Drugstore beetles are nuisance kitchen bugs and can infest a range of stored foods.
Drugstore beetles can infest flour, grains, dry mixes, bread, pasta, cookies, biscuits, noodles, sweets, and even spices (that many bugs avoid).
The worst part?
Drugstore beetles will also lay eggs in your stored food.
When the eggs hatch, the larvae or the grubs of drugstore beetles also feed on the stored food.
Unless you get rid of them, the larvae of the drugstore beetles will complete their entire lifecycle and emerge as adult drugstore beetles from the stored food.
That’s one of the reasons you see tiny brown bugs on the kitchen counter and in places like kitchen cabinets and kitchen pantry.
The drugstore beetle’s larva causes the most damage to stored food.
How do these drugstore beetles enter Florida homes?
There are two ways. They are present in the food packets you buy or fly inside your home from the outdoors.
These beetles can be hard to spot when their numbers are low because they’re too tiny.
Drugstore beetles can also damage your stored prescription medicines in your medicine cabinets.
These beetles got their names as they were common in pharmacy stores.
Cigarette Beetles In Florida
Cigarette beetles are drugstore beetles’ look-alikes. But they’ve got one more thing on their infestation list that drugstore beetles don’t have.
And that’s stored tobacco products.
They’re a major threat to cigars and pipe tobacco as they release yeast that damages tobacco products.
Cigarette beetles will release the yeast on any stored food. The yeast triggers a chemical reaction that makes the stored food edible for the cigarette beetles.
Cigarette beetles grow up to 1/8th of an inch, brown, oval-shaped, and their head looks tucked inside the pronotum.
So, from the top, the head of cigarette beetles looks like a hook bent inwards.
That’s one of the differentiating factors between cigarette beetles and drugstore beetles.
Another distinguishing factor is the shape. Drugstore beetles are oblong; hence, they look longer and thinner than cigarette beetles because they’re oval.
The three segments on the drugstore beetles’ antennae are absent in the antennae of the cigarette beetles.
Cigarette beetles hide deeper in your kitchen than many other pantry beetles because they like dimly lit areas.
That also makes them hide in the cracks and fissures in the kitchen cabinets, pantry shelves, and kitchen countertops.
Light attracts cigarette beetles. So, these beetles may come out of their hiding places and buzz around the light bulbs during the nighttime.
Being phototaxis bugs, cigarette beetles enter Florida homes by following the ray of light from the light bulbs.
You can also bring them home if you have food packets containing adult cigarette beetles and their larvae.
Bark Beetles In Florida
Bark beetles are ideally outdoor beetles. These beetles are responsible for the high mortality of many pine trees in Florida.
Bark beetles are black and they can fly. And they can fly long distances along the direction of the wind, making them, at times, land up in your home.
With their increased numbers in recent years, many South Florida homeowners have reported black bark beetles inside their homes.
But these beetles don’t pose any threat to your home. Bark beetles can feast on uncured or unpolished wood but don’t attack polished or cured lumber.
Click Beetles In Florida Homes
Another accidental intruder to Florida homes is the click beetles. Click beetles are outdoor beetles that feed on the pollen and flower’s nectar.
Your home isn’t a habitat for the click beetles to live and breed.
These beetles can be present in large numbers in your yard or garden, especially during the spring and summer months.
Light attracts them. So, they can fly in towards your windows, trying to reach the light source.
If they get inside your home, there’s nothing to worry about.
Click beetles don’t bite and won’t harm you. And they won’t damage anything inside your house.
Click beetles got their names from their ability to make clicking sounds when you place these beetles on their back.
How To Stop These Beetles From Entering Your Home?
Fortunately, stopping these beetles from entering your home in Florida isn’t that difficult.
You’ve to seal all the cracks and gaps on the window sills, door frames, and walls.
Installing window screens with fine mesh in the late spring till fall also ensures that these beetles don’t fly inside your home.
Light attracts many beetles from the list. So, install bug zappers in the patio decks, doorways, and near windows.
The light from the zapper draws them, and the bug zapper will electrocute them.
If there are pantry beetles like weevils, cigarette beetles, and drugstore beetles in your kitchen, you’ll need to thoroughly clean your kitchen and kitchen storage like kitchen cabinets and pantry.
You can keep the infested stored food directly under the sunlight or put the food jars inside the freezer.
All these beetles can’t withstand direct heat or cold.
Use robust airtight storage jars to prevent pantry bugs from entering your stored food.
Getting rid of carpet beetles and Powderpost beetles can be a bit tricky. You’ll need to hire professional pest control if you notice signs of their presence.
Thomas Orbert is a PhD in entomology with specialization in tiny and microscopic pests. Thomas is a regular contributor to our site and shares failproof methods to get rid of small pests.