Hide Beetle species are common throughout the world. In fact, hide beetles play an important role when it comes to recycling. Hide beetles feed on most any dead animal. This includes animal hair and flesh. But this ferocious appetite can many times cause hide beetles to forage into homes and other buildings where their feeding will become a problem.
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HIDE BEETLE BIOLOGY *
Hide beetles are small and dark. Adults will grow to be 5-10 mm and will vary from dark brown to black in color. They’re strong flyers and are attracted to decaying flesh and rotting meat.
Hide beetles will regularly penetrate and nest in stored products like pet food or cheese. They love hanging meat like hams and sausage. And though adult hide beetles are attracted to such food, they don’t eat nearly as much as their offspring.
Adult hide beetle females will seek a good food supply on which to lay eggs. If conditions are right, these eggs will hatch in as little as 2 days. Larva should be able to find food close by (since females lay eggs close to food) and will eat continuously till they are ready to pupate and become adults. They’re ferocious eaters and can chew though most anything. This feeding may go on for 1-8 months depending on local temperatures, humidity and food quality.
Once larvae get their full, they’ll move off the food source and find a safe location on which to pupate. This could be in a slight crack or crevice, behind some type of siding or on a tree. Larvae can chew into wood and have been known to cause lots of damage to structural members of homes and buildings during their trek to find safe harborage.
Hide beetle pupa will take a week or two to fully develop before emerging as adults. This process could be delayed if it’s cold or other weather factors slow the process. When done, they will emerge as an energetic, light avoiding adult.
FLYING HIDE BEETLES
Adult hide beetles can fly. They’ll mostly take wing at night searching for fertile ground on which to continue their existence. Males will be chasing females, which can start egg laying in as little as a week, and females are always seeking good food supplies on which to lay eggs. Female hide beetles will lay hundreds – in some cases thousands – of eggs. If she planned accordingly, her young should have plenty to eat once they hatch.
WHAT DO HIDE BEETLES EAT? *
Hide beetles are an important variable to the natural cycle of animals. By consuming both flesh and carcass, hide beetles enable dead animals to filter back to the earth. But this process can prove costly and expensive if they target something we’re trying to preserve.
Hide beetles will become a nuisance when they find their way into homes and other buildings. Barns, poultry houses, sheds, dog kennels and other areas where animals are kept seem to naturally attract hide beetles. They seem to prefer decomposing meat on which to feed but hide beetles will take full advantage of animal skin, leather, rugs, mattresses and clothing when food supplies are limited. They can live on hats, fabric and just about anything which uses animal parts such as hair, skin or hide.
Hide beetles can be a hunters worse enemy since they love animal mounts. For this reason they’ll target museums, taxidermists and butchers. Cattle farms are another favorite location as are zoos and even animal shelters. Hide beetles have been found living on animals too. Sickly dogs and other disease ridden wildlife can all become a target of this pest. Their small size and light body weight can make them difficult to notice. If left alone, they can cause huge amounts of damage and in extreme cases, loss of life.
HOW TO TREAT A HIDE BEETLE INFESTATION *
Treatment for hide beetles is easy once you know where to treat. If you find something damaged, it’s important to inspect the entire room as well as other parts of the home to try and assess the extent of the infestation. Treatment options will depend on just how extensive the problem might be. With hide beetles, it’s always better to treat more then only what you see them eating.
HIDE BEETLE TRAPS *
A good way to find out just how active they might be is to set out HIDE BEETLE TRAPS. These should be placed in rooms where activity is suspected along with surrounding rooms to make sure you aren’t missing something they like. Let them be for at least 1-2 weeks to see what they catch. So if you catch 10-20 on traps place in one room but only 2-3 on traps set in surrounding rooms, it would be clear what room has the main problem. Thats not to say you shouldn’t treat them all. But it would enable you to find the main nest site.
This extra bit of work can prove to be a good “insurance policy” that will protect you from hatching eggs which could be unseen. For example, if you have a small place rug or animal skin which has activity, it’s best to assume larva may have migrated away to other parts of the home. If you only treat the rug, you could allow other stages close by to continue the cycle and target non-treated areas.
AEROSOL SPRAY FOR HIDE BEETLES *
Treatment strategies for hide beetles should be determined based on the size of the area showing hide beetle activity.
Small sheds, taxidermy shops and small rooms won’t need a lot of material and can be maintained with an aerosol known as BEDLAM PLUS. This product is water based and commonly used for bed bug control. But it contains a growth regulator along with a good adulticide. This combination works well on fabric pests like carpet beetles, clothing moths and hide beetles.
Bedlam can be applied safely to baseboards, carpeting, wood flooring, finished taxidermy like mounted animals, drapery, furniture, area rugs and pretty much any kind of hide or fabric. Treat these areas quarterly to insure you have an effective barrier in place; once a month when treating an active infestation.
If the rooms with activity have a lot of cracks or crevices, you’ll need to inject material into these spaces since migrating larvae love to use them for pupation. The best aerosol for spot treating is PT-PHANTOM. This product is unique in that it goes on “dry” and is mostly odorless. This makes it ideal for use around windows, molding, under baseboards and for directly treating animal mounts. It only takes a few seconds of spray to treat the average animal mount and treatments can last 1-2 months.
Phantom is slow acting and will normally take 2-3 days to kill target pests. But since they can’t detect the active ingredient (hence the name “Phantom”), target insects will readily move over the treatment unknowingly picking up the chemical which will lead to their demise.
The other benefit using Phantom is that because it will take 3-4 days to kill a target pest, they can in turn transfer some of the active to other insects who in turn will die too. This mode of action is unique to Phantom and one of the reasons why it can have a devastating impact on hide beetles. Especially when males pick up some and transfer it to females.
BEST LIQUID HIDE BEETLE SPRAY *
For large areas, it will prove more cost effective to use a liquid treatment like DEFENSE SC. Aerosols can become costly for problems that linger and liquids allow you to cover big areas more efficiently.
You’ll still need to treat once every two weeks during initial phases of treatment. But once the problem is under control, once every 3 months will insure they don’t return. Mix .5 to 1.o oz of D-Fense per gallon of water and use the mixed solution over 800 sq/ft.
For added protection, add a growth regulator like NYLAR to the tank mix. Though Nylar won’t kill adult stages, it will prevent hide beetle larvae from being able to grow into reproducing adults. It also lasts a long time so you only need to apply it every 3 months. Basically you add it to the same mix as the D-Fense. Use 1 oz of Nylar per gallon, along with the D-Fense, and use one mixed gallon for every 800 sq/ft of surface area treated.
Be sure to apply the spray with a good PUMP SPRAYER. Our private label is made to our specifications and is both durable and comprised of high quality components so it will last for many years. Plus the assortment of nozzles that comes with it will enable you to make the proper treatment efficiently, without mess or waste.
Hide beetle control can be done once you know where to treat and what they are targeting. Remember, they are excellent flyers and will many times find different areas of the home to occupy. Animal mounts, horse hair mattresses and just about any natural fabric or material in the home can become food for this ferocious insect. But if find their main food source and get the areas properly treated, you can eliminate the problem with a little persistence and precise treatments.
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