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How To Control Darkling Beetlesdarkling beetle on white

If you have a large yard with pets or own a farm with a variety of animals, there is a chance that you may have noticed a little black bug that has been hanging around, particularly around the droppings your pets or animals have been leaving behind. These beetles are known as darkling beetles and while they often go unnoticed in a yard since they tend to hide during the day and come out and feed at night, however, when they gather in large quantities they can be a big stinky problem.

Darkling beetles can be a damaging pest if left to it’s own devices. They are known to eat plants, destroy insulation and carry disease. Prevention and control of darkling beetles can be difficult to achieve but with the right approach and the help of professional pest control products from Solutions Pest & Lawn, you can be successful in eliminating a darkling beetle outbreak.

Darkling Beetle Background Information

Darkling beetles (Eleodes spp.) are also known by other names such as skunk beetles, dung beetles, pooh beetles, black bugs and litter beetles among others. The darkling beetle is distinctive due to its dark black or brown color. They are about 3/8th to 1/2 inch in length and have wings but cannot fly.

Darkling beetles are very attracted to filth and animal waste, so wherever feces is plentiful, that is where they will be. Darkling beetles have become an increasing problem for farmers, particularly on poultry farms. They have an interesting defense mechanism when threatened, releasing a foul-smelling odor to scare off predators, which is why they have earned the nickname “skunk beetle”.

Darkling beetles both feed and lay eggs in fecal matter and are known to devour pretty much anything. This can be troublesome if they have grown large in number.

How To Get Rid of Darkling Beetles: 4 Step Solution

Controlling darkling beetles can not be achieved with chemicals alone. It is best to have an integrated pest management (IPM) approach which includes cultural changes to the environment, biological and mechanical control to be successful in eliminating a darkling beetle infestation. We have laid out some simple steps below which you can implement to put a stop to darkling beetle damage.

Step 1: First be sure that the type of beetle you are dealing with is indeed a darkling beetle. Darkling beetles are usually solid black or brown and have antennae which are multi-segmented. Darkling beetles are resistant to most common insecticides so identifying them correctly will point you in the direction of the right products to purchase and control approach to treat this pest. You can always take a photo of the beetle and send it to identification@solutionsstores.com and we can properly identify the pest for you.

Step 2: Once properly identified, you shouldn’t apply chemicals to your yard or farm area just yet. We suggest first engaging in some IPM by eliminating the food sources and filth areas where darkling beetles like to hide. You should do your best to remove animal droppings and properly dispose of them. You should also get rid of any decomposing organic matter. Remove weeds and litter like stones, dirt clods and bits of wood that may offer hiding spots for beetles.

Step 3: If you have a poultry farm we suggest doing what you can to keep the litter dry. This may include checking pipes and waterers for leaks. Prevent wet spots under waterers. If you notice that feed has spilled, clean it immediately. Keep a downtime between flocks of at least 2 weeks (all in, all out programs work best) and completely clean and disinfect the building and equipment between flocks.If the litter is removed during the winter, allow the barn temperature to drop below 45°F, which will kill beetle eggs. All stages of the beetle are killed by temperatures below 30°F.

Step 4: Once all the above exclusion, environmental modification and sanitation measures are put in place you can now use chemical control. We have a number of products which can be used to treat darkling beetles. Tempo SC and Nyguard IGR provide great control. If you are wanting a more natural, eco-friendly solution, we suggest using Evergreen or Essentria IC3. These are pyrethrum-based insecticides derived from chrysanthemums. The best method of application is using a hose-end sprayer or pump sprayer to treat your entire perimeter where you have noticed beetle activity.

Darkling beetles may be a nasty pest to deal with they can be controlled with the right product, a little bit of patience and persistence. Browse our darkling beetle products below and as always, feel free to email us or give us a call and one of our friendly representatives will assist you with your order or with any pest problems you have.


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