How to Get Rid of Beetles in Your Home & Yard [2021 Guide]
Last modified on: February 1, 2021
Beetles: they’re a common pest in households across the country. Fortunately, you can get rid of beetles in your home or yard with a few simple steps.
Here at Smith’s Pest Management, our experienced team provides professional pest control services for customers throughout Northern California, from Marin to Monterey. We’re the team to help you resolve your beetle problems once and for all.
In this post, we’ll discuss our top beetle control methods, a few easy DIY tips, and other steps you can take to keep your home and yard free of beetles.
Let’s dive in.
How Do I Know What Kind of Beetles I Have?
Knowing what type of beetles are invading your home or yard can help you determine the best course of action for getting rid of them.
At first glance, all beetles might look similar. Take another look, though, and you’ll notice that not all beetles are created equal.
Here are a few of the most common types:
A familiar pest in the U.S., the carpet beetle gets its name from its love of destroying fabrics and upholstered furniture. They love dark, quiet, undisturbed places like the seams of furniture or the underside of carpets.
Because they’re so good at hiding, it can be tough to spot carpet beetles until you start noticing the damage they’re causing. These beetles are oval-shaped with two antennae and six legs. Their bodies are hard and round, and they keep their wings tucked below their shells.
The Japanese beetle is a widespread pest in the U.S. Known for killing off landscaping and ornamental plants, the Japanese beetle eats foliage, flowers, fruits, and more. Adult beetles are about ⅓”-½” long with a shiny green body that looks metallic.
While Japanese beetles are unlikely to do much damage inside your home, they can destroy your garden and outdoor plants in a hurry.
The Asian beetle is better known as the ladybug, and they’re a common sight in California homes. While ladybugs are considered a beneficial species when they’re outside feeding on plant pests, they can cause serious damage when they come inside the home.
Adults of this species tend to be about ⅜” long with a hard, red shell and black spots. In the winter, when the weather turns cold, it’s not uncommon to find thousands of these beetles congregated in attics, ceilings, or wall gaps.
If they happen to find their way into your heating vents, simply turning the furnace on can distribute them by the hundreds into your home’s living areas.
Click beetles are common throughout North America. There are more than 900 species of them. Known for their elongated, brown bodies, adult click beetles can be about 1.5”-1” long. While click beetles generally aren’t indoor pests, they love to feed on plants and vegetables and can cause severe damage to your garden.
General Beetle Characteristics
According to recent data, there are more than 350,000 species of beetles in the world. With that in mind, here are a few general facts to help you identify these pests:
- Size. Beetles come in virtually every size, shape, and color. Some have oval or round bodies, while others are square. Some even have bodies that make them resemble spiders. They can range from a few centimeters to an inch or more in size.
- Appearance. Most beetle species have obvious antennae and mouthparts made for chewing wood, foliage, or roots.
- Wings. While beetles are usually poor fliers, most have front wings that look hard, like a shell. These wings are durable and water-resistant, which allows them to protect the beetle from environmental hazards and dehydration.
What Attracts Beetles to My Home and Yard?
If you’re wondering, “Why do I have so many beetles in my yard?” or “What are beetles attracted to?”, you’re not alone. What’s bringing the beetles to your home, and how can you keep them out?
Here are a few of the most common attractants for these pests:
Sometimes, it’s nothing more than the location of your home that attracts beetles. When the temperatures dip, beetles come inside to seek out warmth and shelter. If your home is in the right place at the right time, it may be enough to attract swarms of them.
Again, beetles are opportunists. If your home has access points they can find and exploit (such as torn screens, gaps around windows and doors, or open vents), they’re likely to make their way inside.
3. Food and Water
Like all animals, beetles need both food and water to survive. Most species subsist on a diet of plants, small insects, or fibers from wood and textiles.
They don’t need much water, so pet bowls, seeps from leaking pipes, or water left in drains is enough to keep them going.
Most beetles love dark, quiet, hidden places. You may find them in overlooked areas like the spaces behind appliances, in your attic, or the vents of your home.
What Kind of Damage Can Beetles Cause?
Generally speaking, there are three basic groups of beetles, each of which does a specific kind of damage:
- Fabric beetles
- Food beetles
- Wood beetles
As the names suggest, each of these beetles consumes a specific source of fuel and can damage your home or property.
Depending on the species, beetles may damage clothing, crops (Japanese beetles alone cause about $460 million in crop damage annually), decor, furniture, and packaged goods - like food or pantry items.
How to Get Rid of Beetles Naturally: 6 Home Remedies
If you have beetles in your home or yard, you’re probably wondering how to get rid of them once and for all. Fortunately, there are a few simple DIY options you can try.
Here’s what we recommend:
1. Peppermint Oil
Mint oil and the plants that contain it are excellent natural pest repellants. To keep beetles out of your living space, mix 10-15 drops of pure peppermint oil into 8 ounces of water. Shake the mixture up and spray it around your doorways, vents, and windows.
Pros: Affordable, effective, easy to DIY, safe for kids and pets
Cons: Requires regular re-application, may bother people who don’t enjoy the strong scent of peppermint
2. Neem Oil
Neem oil is used as a natural pest repellent around the world, and for good reason: neem oil kills more than 200 species of insects but is completely harmless for kids, pets, and wildlife.
To make a natural beetle repellent, spray neem oil directly on indoor plants to help control inside beetles, or along the seams of your windows and doorways to prevent beetles from entering.
Pros: Effective, fast-acting solution, safe and non-toxic, easy to DIY
Cons: Requires regular re-application, neem oil can be difficult to find
3. Insect Traps
For crawling insects, sticky traps can be effective. For best results, purchase a few of these traps at your local hardware store and place them in any place you’ve noticed beetle activity.
These traps work by emitting a scent that attracts beetles. When the insect steps on the trap, the glue holds them fast and prevents them from escaping.
Pros: Affordable, effective, easy to place
Cons: Unsightly, requires you to replace trap regularly, kids and pets may interfere with the traps
A naturally-occurring compound extracted from the chrysanthemum flower, Pyrethrin acts on the nervous systems of insects to kill them rapidly. For best results, spray Pyrethrin directly on beetles when you spot them.
Pros: Effective, fast-acting solution
Cons: Highly manual, requires you to spot and spray insects, requires you to pick up dead bodies of insects
Lavender oil smells great to humans but repels beetles. To keep the bugs out of your home, put bundles of dried lavender into your drawers and closets, or make a spray from about 10 drops of lavender oil mixed into 8 ounces of water.
Pros: Effective, safe, and non-toxic, ideal for homes with kids and pets, pleasant smell
Cons: Requires regular re-application
6. Diatomaceous earth (DE)
DE is made from crushed and fossilized algae. While it’s safe for kids, pets, and wildlife (you can purchase food-grade DE online), it is deadly for insects. Within hours of encountering DE, insects will die from dehydration.
To kill beetles, sprinkle a fine line of DE around access points and along the foundation seam of your home.
Pros: Affordable, safe, and non-toxic
Cons: Can be messy, requires regular re-application
3 Conventional Methods to Get Rid of Beetles Inside the Home
Looking for a conventional way to banish beetles from your home and garden? Here are a few fast options:
1. Set bait stations
Bait stations can help you get rid of beetles and other household pests. These stations, which look like long tubes, can be placed anywhere you have beetle or insect activity. They contain a bait which attracts beetles by smell. When the beetles consume the bait, it kills them quickly.
Pros: Effective, fast-acting
Cons: Unsightly, may be toxic to kids and pets, requires you to clean up dead beetles
3. Focus on exclusion
Exclusion is essential if you want your beetle control methods to work. While you can kill beetles with bait stations and sprays, it won’t do you much good as long as new beetles are entering your home.
With this in mind, focus on preventing access for beetles. Place fresh caulk around your windows, doors, and vent seals, install screens behind vents, and fix worn-out weather-stripping or caulking.
Pros: Effective, safe, affordable
Cons: Ongoing process, must check caulk and seals frequently
3. Hire a pest management professional
For best results, hire a professional extermination team like Smith’s to get rid of the beetles in your home and yard. Professional teams know how to identify the source of beetle infestations and eliminate every last bug - without putting the safety of your kids, pets, or family at risk.
Pros: Effective, safe, long-lasting, suitable for both indoor and outdoor infestations
Cons: More expensive than some DIY options
4 Ways to Get Rid of Beetles Outside Your Home
Do you have beetles all over your yard? Here are a few tips to get rid of them:
1. Use water and dish soap
While this is a manual approach, it can be effective. Here’s how to do it:
Fill a quart jar with water and a squirt of dish soap and hold it under the branches of plants where beetles are resting. Tap the branches. The beetles will fall into the jar and the dish soap will smother them.
Pros: Effective, kills beetles fast, non-toxic
Cons: Labor-intensive, may take a long time to kill all the beetles in your yard
2. Vacuum beetles up
Using a wet/dry or ShopVac, suck beetles up where you see them resting or moving. Empty the vacuum canister into a jar of soapy water or a trash bag that you can seal.
Pros: Effective, safe, non-toxic
Cons: Highly manual, requires lots of upfront work, may require several attempts to get rid of all beetles, doesn’t target beetles that are out of sight
3. Hang beetle traps
For a hands-off way to get rid of beetles in your yard, hang traps around your lawn. You can purchase these traps at most home improvement stores in your area. Most contain a sack filled with a substance that attracts beetles. When the beetles enter the trap, they get stuck and eventually die.
Pros: Low-impact, safe for kids and pets, non-toxic
Cons: Unsightly, may take months to kill all beetles, requires you to remove traps and dispose of dead beetles
4. Use insecticidal soap on bushes and landscaping
If you’ve noticed beetles spending time outside your home or damaging your plants, use insecticidal soap to kill them. Purchase this soap at your local hardware store. Spray it onto your bushes or plants to kill beetles on contact.
Pros: Easy to apply, effective, many varieties are safe for kids and pets
Cons: May require several applications, may not kill all varieties of beetles
How do Exterminators Get Rid of Beetles?
Professional exterminators use proven methods to kill beetles. Here’s what you can expect from the professionals at Smith’s Pest Management:
1. Initial Inspection
First, our team of pest control professionals will thoroughly inspect your property. During this inspection, we’ll identify the species of beetle and the source of the infestation. Based on our findings, we’ll develop a pest management plan designed to resolve your specific problems.
2. Client Education
Most pest infestations require a long-game approach. To help you understand the source of your infestation, we’ll provide industry-leading education for you and your family. You’ll learn about the kinds of beetles in your home or garden, what they’re eating, what’s attracting them to your property, and what you can do to keep them from coming back. This education helps empower you and your family and prevent re-infestation.
3. Plan Execution and Follow-Up
Finally, we’ll deploy the plan we developed for your household. Depending on the situation, our team will likely also provide post-treatment follow-up to ensure the infestation is gone and that you don’t have any more beetles emerging in your garden or home.
How Do I Keep Beetles Out of My House and Yard?
The first step to keeping beetles out of your house is to keep them out of your yard and away from your home.
Here are a few tips:
1. Seal entry points
Keep bugs from entering your home by sealing all available entry points. Pay special attention to cracks in caulking and weather stripping, as well as areas around windows, doors, soffits, and vents.
2. Deploy an exterior barrier treatment
If beetles are an annual problem in your home, use an exterior barrier treatment to kill them on contact. These treatments are available through your local home goods store. Spray the treatment around your doors, windows, foundation, and roofline to keep beetles from congregating and entering your space.
3. Eliminate food sources
As much as you can, remove the food sources that attract beetles. This means removing leftovers from countertops, keeping all perishable food items in the fridge or an airtight plastic container, and cleaning up spills and crumbs promptly.
It’s also smart to trim bushes and trees back from your home and keep pet food and water bowls empty as often as possible.
Are Beetles Taking Over Your San Francisco Bay Area Home? We’re Here to Help!
Do you have beetles in your home, yard, or garden? Our team is here to help. We provide high-quality, reliable pest control services for commercial and residential customers in Northern California - from Marin to Monterey.
Don’t play host to beetles for one more day - call our team for fast, permanent beetle removal services.
Author Bio: Zach Smith
Landscape Pro Turned Gopher Pro: Owner, Zach Smith, graduate of Cal Poly’s Horticulture program worked nine years as a landscape professional- dealing with gophers, moles, and ground squirrels and was quickly recruited by other local gardeners. Fast forward to the past 10+ years, where Zach and his team trap and remove burrowing pests from residential, municipal and commercial properties throughout the San Francisco Bay area, from Marin to Monterey.
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