Common Household Beetles – Species & Identification Guide

Beetles are common arthropods found in a number of habitats including homes.

A lot of times these beetles are unknowingly or accidentally brought in without the knowledge of the homeowner especially when infested items are brought indoors. What more?

Your lights may be attracting these beetles indoors.

Here, we discuss varying household beetles commonly found in households. If you’re faced with a beetle problem, it’s likely that any of these will be among them.

Not only have we listed the common beetles in households, but we’ve also discussed the common attractions for these.

About Beetles

Beetles are among the most common types of insects you’ll find and come in varying species.

Each of these has preferred habitats. You’ll find most beetle species with body armor in the form of forewings which makes them easily recognizable.

There are significant variations in terms of beetle size.

Beetles are easily identified by their three major body segments that include the head (usually having a pair of antennae, the thorax, and the abdomen.

In terms of body shape, these vary from elongate to round, cylindrical, domed, or flattened.

Some beetle species are considered beneficial in terms of their actions that include the breakdown of waste, feeding on dead decaying animals, and aerating the ecosystem.

Others are known to cause a wide range of damage to crops, stored food, as well as to timber, etc.

Examples of Household Beetles

Quite a number of beetle species are common in homes.

These include rice weevil, skin beetle, weevil, confused flour beetle, varied carpet beetle, drugstore beetle, black carpet beetle, common furniture beetle, and the elm leaf beetle.

These are only a few of many more beetle species found in homes.

i. Rice Weevil

This is a stored product pest known to infest stored grains with rice being its primary target.

Adults of this beetle species live between 3 to 6 months. Although rice weevils are commonly found in food processing plants and grain storage facilities, they’re also common in homes.

With origins in India, the rice weevil has successfully spread worldwide. Although they’re called rice weevils, these beetles will readily feed on other grain types.

One clear disadvantage of having rice weevils in grain loss due to their continued feeding action.

ii. Skin Beetle

Another member of the beetle family found in homes is the skin beetle. Do these feed on human skin? Not at all!

Skin beetles feed on a wide range of materials including their skin, animal hair, fibers, dead insects, and also dead animals. Skin beetles are among pests that cause damage to natural fibers in both homes and businesses.

One thing you need to know about skin beetles is that it doesn’t refer to a specific type of beetle, but is a whole category of beetles.

iii. Confused Flour Beetle

These reddish-brown beetle species are among those commonly found in homes. They’re tiny and as the name suggests, you’ll usually find these in flour.

You might wonder why its name includes the word “confused.” Well, there has been a lot of confusion regarding the proper identification of this beetle species.

While confused flour beetles will mostly be found around flour dust, they feed on a wide range of food substances that include pasta, pet food, cereals, dried fruits, nuts, and spices among others.

These will mostly be found in pantries.

iv. Varied Carpet Beetle

This 3mm long beetle species are known to mostly target carpets among other areas within homes.

Varied carpet beetles will readily feed on items made of fur and wool etc. These beetles come in a variety of colors hence the name. Such may range from black, orange, and speckled white.

Your carpets, upholstery, and clothing are targeted by varied carpet beetles. While common in homes, this beetle species will also thrive outdoors.

One of the main reasons they target homes is due to an abundant supply of larval food which females need to lay eggs.

v. Drugstore Beetle

One beetle species that stands out in terms of what it feeds on is the drugstore beetle. It has a huge appetite for almost anything hence an anonymous quote that states that drugstore beetles “eat anything but cast iron.”

This beetle species is known by several names including biscuit beetle, and bread beetle.

As a pantry pest, the drugstore beetle is found in all regions of the world but tends to be more common around temperate regions. Are you wondering why the inclusion of “drugstore” is in its name?

This beetle species has earned the notoriety of feeding on prescription drugs.

vi. Black Carpet Beetle

Of all known carpet beetles, the black carpet beetle variety is known to be the most destructive.

This 2 to 3-millimeter-long beetle is oval-shaped and appears in varying colors from black to mixtures of orange, white, yellow, and brown.

vii. Common Furniture Beetle

This is a common household beetle you’ll find in your home. Adult furniture beetles don’t feed on wood but on their larvae. Such larvae are known as woodworm and will cause damage to your wooden furniture.

Items mostly targeted include joists, wood-framed roofs, as well as floorboards.

What Attracts Common Household Beetles?

Household beetles might be attracted to your due to a number of actions or conditions considered suitable for their survival.

Such include leaving food products uncovered, poor landscaping decisions, moisture, open trashcans, presence of other bugs, and leaving your lights on.

i. Leaving Food Products Uncovered

So far, we’ve mentioned food products as one of several primary attractions for beetles. Such may include grains, and flour among others.

You’ll need to have these properly sealed after use.

ii. Open Trashcans

Your open trashcan is an open invitation to household beetles. These pests won’t resist the urge to feast on whatever is inside the can.

iii. Presence of Other Bugs

Certain beetle species are known to prey on a variety of smaller bugs. The presence of these bugs in your home also draws household beetles.

iv. Leaving Lights On

Whether it’s indoor or outdoor lighting, a wide range of beetle species get drawn to well-lit homes. You might want to consider making controlled lighting provisions.

These are common household beetles you’re likely to find around your home. We’ve also included information on common attracts that draws them in.

All you have to do to keep them under check is by controlling these conditions.