Beetle Infestations In The Home Explained


Beetles can sometimes appear in our homes. We all have them in various places in our homes from time to time.  They are found in the cabinets in the kitchen, the bedroom closets, and in the garden. Why do we have them in our homes? How can we safeguard our houses to ensure they are eradicated without causing too much destruction?

Various insects and beetles are attracted to our homes while looking for food and shelter. As long as they can find a safe, warm home with a portion of good food and water supply, they will move in and stay. Most beetles are prolific breeders, so you are sure to have more than one!

Beetles come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes, from tiny bugs to giant beetles. Once they are in your home, they are difficult to remove, but this can be done by either natural means or, as a last resort, using pesticides.

What Types Of Beetles Are In My Home?

Three types of beetles could cause damage in your home:

  • Wood-boring beetles – larvae are laid in the wood, and once they hatch, they feed on the wood and create long narrow tunnels in the wood. This reduces the wood to powder.
  • Food beetles – larvae are laid in any food items. Once there is an infestation, the food is unfit for human consumption.
  • Material infesting beetles – any fabric can be ruined or destroyed by the larvae feeding on these items.

Beetles can do severe damage to your clothing, bedding, curtains, furniture, grocery items, home décor, and even your plants in your garden. If your home is made from wood, you could have a problem with wood-boring beetles unless you treat your wood correctly.

Carpet Beetles

Why Do I Have Beetles In My Home?

They are attracted to your home for many reasons, but as with all living creatures, beetles need food, water, and shelter to survive.

Here is a shortlist of what could attract beetles to your home:

1. Moisture

Dark, damp corners are an instant attraction to beetles, especially in your bathroom or any other warm, moist area in your house.

2. Food

Anything sweet and sticky will attract beetles, as will flour and crumbs of any kind.

3. Trash-Bins

Beetles will lay their eggs in any place that has a good food supply for their young.

4. Lights

The heat from the light bulbs or even the flame from your fire will attract beetles, especially in winter when they need a warm place to live.

5. Garden and Potted Plants

Organic matter and wet soil will attract beetles as a good food source, water, and shelter.

6. Timber

Borer beetles will lay their eggs in your wood, whether it’s in the timber used to build your home or the cabinets and cupboards inside your home.

7. Bugs

Some beetles are predators and will prey on other smaller beetles that could already live inside your home.

8. The Weather

Most beetles look for warmth during the colder winter months, so they are attracted to the inside of your warm home.

Are All Beetles Pests In My Home?

While many species of beetles are considered pests because of their destructive nature, some beetles could be deemed beneficial to your home.

The Lady Bug Beetle

The Lady Bug Beetle is beneficial to your indoor pot plants as it feeds on plant pests such as aphids and mealybugs. Plant flowers that produce pollen in your garden to attract Lady Bugs .

A few good flowers to plant would be Marigolds and Cosmos, and a few herbs like Chives and Fennel. Ladybugs are attracted to white or yellow flowers in particular.


How Do I Know If I Have Beetles In My Home?

Often you may not even notice the beetles in your house until you notice the damage that they have caused.

Beetles like to gather around lights and windows, so if they are crawling around, they are looking for a way to move into your home.

Tell-tale signs that they have already moved into your home are:

  • Evidence – small holes in curtains, upholstery, clothing, rugs, and even books.
  • Larvae – adult beetles lay their eggs near to woolens, natural fibers, feathers, and other fabrics in your homes so that the larvae have an instant food source once they hatch.
  • Hiding places – you will find them in and around your floor rugs, animal hides, carpets, cushions, and furniture.

Most beetles stick close to their food source, so that’s where you will find them most often.

They like to live in secluded places in your home, so your attic, basement, shed, cabinet, or generally furniture which isn’t used very often will become home to beetles.


Top Tips To Get Rid Of Beetles

Before you go the chemical route of eradicating and destroying beetles, try these top tips to prevent and control their entry into your home:

  • Physical removal. Sweep up or vacuum the beetles and their larvae if they are in plain sight.
  • Moisture control. Inspect your home for any leaking taps or damp corners and repair the damages to avoid attracting beetles to the area.
  • Inspection. Before bringing any furniture items, clothing, or foodstuffs into your home, inspect them first for any signs of beetles and remove them. If you have previously removed beetles from a hiding spot, check often to see if they have returned and remove.
  • Seal entrances to light fittings. Repair any small entrances to your light fittings to prevent the beetles from crawling inside.
  • Practice good food hygiene. Don’t leave uncovered food out on the countertop. Rather pack away all foodstuffs in sealed containers or in the refrigerator. Wipe down all countertops and tables after each meal.
  • Use sprays and traps as control measures. Spray home remedies onto and around the affected areas to prevent the beetles from returning. If they do, you may need to purchase a commercial beetle trap to take care of the problem.
  • Lower your thermostat. Beetles enjoy the warmth, so by keeping the temperature inside your home on the cooler side, beetles should be deterred from entering.

Unwanted beetles are best taken care of immediately as they are prolific breeders. If you do not immediately take care of the one or two you find, you will quickly have an infestation of unwanted pests!

Natural Or Chemical Remedies To Deal With Beetles?

Many people do not like to use the chemical option as not only will the pesticides destroy the invading beetles, but they could quite possibly destroy any harmful bugs and insects which could be living in your home.

Pesticides can be detrimental to humans and pets, so be careful when spraying around any area in which you live, sleep, eat and play!

There are many home remedies to try before going the chemical route or calling in the Pest Control company.

Organic Pest Control Remedies:

  • Boric acid powder acts as a stomach poison to beetles – mix 2 Tablespoons powder with 1 teaspoon mint jelly or any sweet jelly. Place on pieces of cardboard around the infested areas for the beetles to consume.
  • Beetles hate the smell of peppermint oil. Spray around any area to keep them away, or place small lids filled with the oil in various places around the affected areas.
  • Use strong-smelling herbs and spices to keep the beetles away – fresh garlic cloves placed inside closets and dark corners will deter beetles, as will a sprinkling of cayenne pepper around the perimeter of shelves and window ledges.
  • Wash all floors and countertops with a vinegar and water solution. Adjust the vinegar to water ratio depending on how effective the solution is in deterring the beetles.


By being aware of the habits of the people in your household and by implementing specific procedures, such as cleaning up any spilled foodstuffs, you should be able to prevent beetles from moving into your home.

Once they have moved in, they can be difficult, but not impossible, to remove. The best way to get rid of them is to prevent them from moving in the first place by being aware of any areas in your home that could be attractive to beetles and take the necessary prevention steps.


Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and an FHA 203k Consultant. I started to help people better understand pest control and what they can do about invasive insects, rodents, reptiles, and other mammals around their homes.

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