Yellow mealworm beetle infestation
The Yellow Mealworm beetle (Tenebrio Molitor) is the largest among the stored product insects. It is a post-harvest pest, which is popular across farmers all over the world. It is a scavenger of damp and decaying cereals and grains, kept in wet and non-ventilated areas.
Typically, the Yellow Mealworm beetle would settle in areas, where it will be least disturbed – outdoors those would be under storage bins, in and around chicken houses and sparrow’s nests, under sacks and other containers, where feed is stored. Inside premises, this pest can be found in kitchens and dark areas, where the following products are kept: cereals and flours, cake mixes, bran, corn meal, meat scraps, etc.. Other places, where the beetle can hide are under old carpets and in straw chairs, kept in wet conditions.
The Yellow Mealworm beetle is a strong flier and is attracted by night light. This makes it easy for it to infest a property during the summer season, when we tend to leave the windows open more often during the late hours of the days and the evenings.
The signs of a Yellow Mealworm beetle infestation are usually the larvae and the adult beetles, which can be seen in the infested products. The eggs are relatively small and bean-shaped, usually white in colour, so they may be difficult to spot. However, the damp environment and the presence of decaying grains or cereals, together with the larvae and/or the adult beetle form, would certainly mean that there is a presence of a Yellow Mealworm beetle infestation.
These beetles are not dangerous to people or pets. They are also not always considered pests, due to the fact that they can be raised for animal or fish food (the larval worm stage).
Yellow mealworm beetle treatment and control
The Yellow Mealworm beetle is typically found infesting areas, where humidity is high and the stored products kept there have started or are already decaying. This is why it is important for domestic and commercial customers to make sure there is no presence of humidity or damp areas in their homes or business premises.
For commercial customers it is important to keep cleaning and sanitisation at high levels as this pest can easily settle into old product bins and dark secluded corners, where they will not be disturbed.
For domestic customers, checking all areas in the kitchen, as well as their attics or storage areas, where straw-chairs and furniture may be kept. Also, regular cleaning in chicken houses and around sparrow nests, as these are areas, where the Yellow Mealworm beetle finds a food source and settles down.
Controlling the time range at which windows are left open during the summer season or considering a net or mesh to limit the access of the beetle in the late hours, when there is light that can attract it to enter the properties.
If cleaning would not help eradicate your infestation and it has gone out of control, treatments such as insecticides, where possible and the eco-friendly heat treatment will help you to get rid of the infestation. The heat treatment will also help you to tackle humidity and any other pests that may live with it such as mould mites, booklice, etc…
For commercial customers who have a Yellow Mealworm infestation, fumigation would be a suitable treatment as it will help to eradicate the infestation and will preserve the stored product infested, saving you money in the long term.
Prime Pest Control offers Yellow Mealworm beetle infestation treatment, control and prevention services to domestic and commercial customers. Our BPCA-trained pest technicians have long years of experience tackling stored product infestations in North, South, West and East London and the surrounding areas. Call our friendly and knowledgeable customer team if you have any questions about Yellow Mealworm infestations and book your inspection appointment with one of our experienced pest technicians. We will inspect your property or business premises and will give you a tailored integrated pest management scheme for the eradication, control and prevention of your stored product infestation.
About Yellow mealworm beetles
The adult form of Yellow Mealworm Beetle is dark brown-to black and has a shiny polished surface. Their body is elongated and cylindrical and can reach 20mm in length. The pupa is white and then turns yellow (not enclosed in a cocoon, like other stored product insects), while the larvae is yellow and turns darker with age. The eggs are white and bean-shaped. An adult female Yellow Mealworm beetle can lay from 275 up to 600 eggs in its life. It takes 4 to 14 days or the eggs to hatch into the next larval stage. The following pupal stage lasts between 7 and 24 days, depending on the conditions, before it turns into an adult that has a lifespan between 2 to 3 months.
The larvae of the Yellow Mealworm beetle is very resistant to low temperatures. It can endure temperatures of -5C for 80 days. Also, depending on the environmental conditions it can remain in this stage for up to 2 years and then continue to the following pupal stage. It is typical for the larvae of this beetle to mature in the autumn and then to pupate in the spring, turning into adult over the summer season.