Common pests

Mealworm beetle

Mealworm beetles (Tenebrio molitor) are widespread throughout Britain. The adult beetles fly and are attracted to light.

Facts about mealworm beetles

The female mealworm beetle lays up to 500 eggs, often in batches, over a period of weeks. These eggs have a sticky exterior which helps to hide them as they become covered in dust and debris. Some two weeks or so later the larvae hatch and start feeding on any suitable food material. As a slow breeding species the larvae will moult several times and may grow up to approximately 28mm in length.

How do they affect me?

They are usually associated with birds' nests or long standing food residues and other debris in stores and cellars etc.

How do you control them?

In order to control mealworm beetles it is important to first identify the source of the infestation, which will not usually involve more than ten or so beetles and then treat the infestation. Removing the food sources such as old birds nests and food debris will help to control the beetles. Crawling insect sprays available from the local chemist, garden centre or hardware store may control small infestations. Large infestations may require a professional treatment to be carried out.

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