Householders are urged to check for the larvae in undisturbed secluded areas, as they are notorious for hiding in the darkest corners and crevices, especially in pantries and drawers. Because the larvae moult many times during development, which can take as long as four years, the large number of cast skins reveals infestations.
To find warehouse beetle larvae:
- Plan a systematic search that leads from one room to another in sequence.
- Look on windowsills, checking all dead beetles, moths, flies etc. as warehouse beetle may be found feeding on these. Lift up the edges of carpets to check for dead adults or live larvae.
- Pull filing cabinets, cupboards, cardboard boxes, packages etc. aside and examine them.
- Check the bottom of shelves, inside drawers, under stoves and refrigerators.
- Check rat and mouse baits or dead carcases, mud dauber wasp and bird nests as well as spiders webs/egg masses.
- Check anywhere warm and dusty. Inspect all foodstuffs and seed in the pantry or food storage area.
- Forward suspect insects to the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia.
Warehouse beetle can only be eradicated using total fumigation techniques, which can only be applied by licensed fumigators. Eradication is made difficult because of the secretive nature and the ability of the larvae to diapause (hibernate) for several years.
Control of the insect around the home can be achieved using a combination of good household hygiene and timely application of recommended insecticides.
Prior to the use of any insecticide or fumigant, a thorough clean–up of the premises is essential to remove harbourage and host material. Thoroughly vacuum the infested area including all cracks, crevices, windowsills, drawers and cupboards. Dispose of debris and vacuum cleaner bag by burning. All infested foodstuffs and produce together with all corrugated cardboard boxes should be burned. Regularly check and dispose of rat baits.
The timely application of both contact and residual insecticides will be necessary to achieve good control of warehouse beetle.
Select one of the registered contact insecticides to kill all active insects and then apply one of the registered residual insecticides to give further protection.
Note that follow-up treatments will be required at six to eight week intervals.
Residual insecticides should be applied to cracks, crevices, windowsills, under furniture and equipment, floors, walls and shelves.
Where major infestations are found in food stores and in stored grain facilities, complete fumigation and stringent hygiene are required.