Pest Of The Week – Australian Spider Beetle

A term frequently misused to describe beetles in general, but actually applicable only to a distinctive group of beetles with long, pointed “snouts” which they use for boring into whole grains, hard processed cereals such as pasta and timber.


Australian spider beetles arrived in Europe and the UK from Australia in around 1900, and can now be found more or less everywhere. They are general scavengers and will feed on a variety of items including cereals, seeds, flour, meat, dried fruits and vegetables, fish food, dead insects, rodent droppings and old wood. Common sites of infestation in the home include wall voids and drop ceilings, as the infestation usually originates in a birds nest.

Life Cycle

The female lays about 100 opalescent, sticky eggs, singly or in small groups, over a period of 3 to 4 weeks. Food and debris adhere to the eggs. The fleshy larva (which can grow up to 1/8 inch long), covered with fine hairs, is strongly curved, cream coloured and rolls up into a tight ball when disturbed. It can chew its way through sacking, cellophane, or cardboard, and can hollow out a chamber in adjacent woodwork when making a place in which to pupate. Pupation takes place in a tough, spherical, thin-walled cocoon. The adult may remain in this cocoon as long as 3 weeks after emergence. The average total lifespan of an Australian spider beetle is 12 months.

Pest Control

The source of infestation should be traced and eliminated. Old bird’s nests should be removed and destroyed. Good housekeeping and hygiene practices should be put into place, such as checking food items and ensuring that food areas are kept clean. A regular spray treatment may be required near wall / floor junctions with a residual insecticide over a period of about three months. However, the spray will only kill the adults and the larvae but it doesn’t kill the egg or the pupae, so repeated treatments are likely to be required.

If you suspect you have an Australian Spider Beetle infestation in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee or Perth, call GRAHAM pest control today and we could help.