Black beetles are commonly found on the property of most any home. Generally considered to be a perimeter pest, black beetles can become invasive when left to populate and nest at their own free will. These beetles will range in size from less than 1/4 inch to almost 2 inches long. Generally dark brown to black, their bodies are tough like armor and they are quite resilient. You’ll notice a large sounding “crunch” when stepping on one.
This ample body “shield” does a good job of protecting black beetles from traditional insecticides. There are many species of black beetles that can live around the home and in most situations they are easy to tolerate. Problems arise, however, when homes are left untreated and unprotected at key entry points. Black beetles are predatory and commonly forage for food in the dark of night. For this reason they’re many times able to go unnoticed until their numbers reach the thousands. Under the protection of darkness, they’ll emerge from rocks, mulch, wood chips and pine straw to go about their nightly business of foraging for food.
BLACK BEETLE BIOLOGY
As predatory insects go, black beetles are quite strong and can cover large distances in relatively little time given their short body size and lack of wings. Fortunately for them, nature has seemingly wired their senses to innately know where good food supplies will be readily available. As most people know, insects are attracted to light. Apparently, the word has gotten out and black beetles are now “in the know” as well. Bright lights, especially the blue and white neon lights commonly found at gas stations or roadside cafés seem to be particularly attractive to black beetles. Homes which burn porch or deck lights will also many times attract insects which in turn attract black beetles. Your guess is right; they are most likely foraging to the light source your wife is having you keep on. And though turning it off may seem to make the beetles go away, all that’s really happening is a redirection of the population that’s undoubtedly living somewhere on your land. In other words, if you don’t treat their nests or the turf over which they must travel to forage, it’s highly likely they’ll start foraging inside your home at some point in the near future.
BLACK BEETLE NEST SITES
As previously stated, black beetles love pine straw, wood chips, mulch and thatch under which they can create secure nests. These nests will protect them from the elements. But excessive rainfall, heat and cold will drive them to seek better shelter. In the fall, black beetles will forage from their nest sites to more accommodating locations. Residential homes and other structures make perfect winter getaways for hibernating black beetles.
BLACK BEETLE CONTROL
Because of their thick skin and upright body motion used when walking, ready-to-use sprays won’t prove effective. It sounds like you’ve been using some standard “pre mixed” liquid commonly found at most any Home Center. Black beetles will easily overcome such formulations. Combine this with the general “absorbant” nature of the ground and other treatment sites around the home, it’s not likely any RTU formulation can provide the needed residual to have a significant impact. To treat successfully, you’ll first need to apply some BIFEN GRANULES to the turf and mulch areas surrounding the home. You’ll need to treat at least 10 feet out from the foundation and your goal is to create a band of treated soil. This band will act as a sort of barrier through which foraging black beetles will no longer be able to navigate. Other pine straw and mulch areas on your property outside this “band” should be treated as well. Remember, black beetles forage over great distances so any nest sites on the property can lead to persistent home intrusions.
BLACK BEETLE CONTROL SPRAY
After applying the granules, spray over the top with BIFEN IT CONCENTRATE. This active works very well on black beetles. You’ll note very little will be needed per gallon of water but it’s highly effective on this pest. With that being said, you’ll still need to add some SPREADER STICKER to the tank mix along with the Bifen. Spreader Sticker enables the active ingredient (in this case the Bifen) to better “spread” over and thus impact target pests. When combined with Bifen, your liquid application will essentially be magnified and the net result is a more faster acting spray which will achieve quicker results.
Spreader Sticker: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/additive/spreader-sticker
BLACK BEETLE CONTROL INSIDE THE HOME
If black beetles have already invaded the home, you can spray inside with the Bifen and Spreader Sticker tank mix. If you’re apprehensive about spraying liquid materials in the home, get either D-FORCE or the new PT PHANTOM aerosol. D-Force does have an odor but it’s quick acting, easy-to-use and will provide a fast knock down. PT-Phantom goes on as a dry aerosol, has little to no odor and takes a day or longer to affect target insects.
Phantom Aerosol: http://www.bugspraycart.com/insecticide/aerosol/pt-phantom-17-5oz
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