Worldwide, the number of different beetles numbers in the hundreds of
thousands. In the United States the number could be more than
30,000. The exact number of different beetles will probably never be
Beetles are generally divided into groups that usually show what foods are
eaten by the pest. There is a big difference, for example between a pest
of our stored grains and a pest that feeds on our homes. Pest control
technicians are trained to know the difference between stored product pests
(also known as pantry pests), hide and fabric pests and wood destroying pests.
The first group includes Fabric Pests, those beetles that feed on mostly non-food items in warehouses, restaurants and in our homes. The most common fabric pests are carpet beetles and clothes moths. We have all heard of these bugs and can easily assume by their names as to exactly what they feed on and what items in our homes can be at risk from their appetites.
The next group of beetles fall into the category called Pantry Pests or Stored Product Pests. Beetles in this group prefer to feed on materials that contain grains but they can also feed on other food items.
The third group of beetles to discuss are included in the pest control group called Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO.) Termites and Powderpost Beetles are two pests that are well known in the pest control industry. We will concentrate on the most common beetles that belong in the WDO group.
Fabric Pest Beetles information page
Pantry Pest Beetles information page
Wood Beetles information page