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Plaster Beetle Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from plaster beetles by learning techniques for identification and control.

Plaster beetle illustration
Family Lathridiidae
1 to 3 mm
Yellowish brown, reddish brown, or black


How do I get rid of plaster beetles?

What You Can Do

You can remove adult plaster beetles inside the home by vacuuming them quickly. Ways to prevent them from infesting your home include:

  • Circulating Airflow: Unblock crawlspace vents so that air can circulate. A dehumidifier may be necessary in damp basements.

  • Moisture Control: Eliminate dampness that supports mold or mildew. Search out and repair plumbing leaks. Make sure that gutters and downspouts drain away from the foundation.

  • Sealing Entryways: Exterior doors should be closed tightly. Replace weather stripping that is damaged or missing. Check the screens on windows and crawlspace vents.

What Orkin Does

Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage plaster beetles and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique beetle treatment program for your situation.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep plaster beetles in their place and out of your home or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Plaster Beetles


  • Size: Plaster beetles are very small insects that are usually less than 1 to 3 mm long.

  • Color: They range from yellowish brown to reddish brown to almost black.


There must be dampness or high humidity for these plaster beetles to thrive. They sometimes appear in homes after a period of heavy rain. Most of them live outdoors.

Homeowners would discover these beetles when they came out from under the baseboards. Some people call these insects minute brown scavenger beetles or mold beetles. They may gather in large numbers and can be found living in areas such as:

  • Bathtubs and sinks

  • Bird nests

  • Crawlspaces

  • Damp basements

  • Damp fiber and carpet

  • Near lamps and televisions

  • On cheese and fruit

  • Tree bark

  • Under logs and rocks


Plaster beetles feed on the fungi and mildew that form on grains and cereals in pantries as well as in carpeting and wall voids. Wet straw and wet structural lumber can support mold and mildew that these beetles eat.

Plaster beetles got their name when many homes had plaster walls. Mold often grew in new homes inside walls or under wallpaper while the plaster was drying. These beetles fed on the mold inside of the walls.

Life Cycle

Female plaster beetles deposit eggs near fungi food sources. Larvae hatch and begin to feed on the mold spores. They then attach themselves to a surface and pupate into adults. Development time varies and can be as short as about a month to over five months depending on temperature and food availability.

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