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Pest Information

American Spider Beetle

American Spider Beetle

  • Latin Name: Mezium americanum
  • Common Name: American Spider Beetle
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

American Spider Beetle


Thought to be native to Africa but now found throughout the world in stored food products.


Spider beetles in general are omnivores, and this species is known to feed as a scavenger on many foods such as dried mushrooms, animal feces, feathers, dead insects, dried fruit, grains, etc. It is partial to materials that may be in poor condition, somewhat damp, and moldy, and its presence may indicate an unsanitary condition that should be discovered and removed or cleaned. Damage to books or other non-food items occurs as the larvae bore into them to construct a chamber or cell in which to pupate. They are resistant to cold temperatures, making them more difficult to control by this method.


Spider beetles derive this name due to their appearance. They have very round elytra, a round thorax, and long, thin antennae and legs, and in general present the appearance of a small, hump-backed spider. This species is a bit odd for the family as its elytra are a very shiny black color. The thorax and legs are covered with yellowish hairs and scales, giving them a rough, furry appearance. The adult beetle is very small, only 2 mm long, and cannot fly.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Control of dampness and spoilage of food materials is important, as these beetles are drawn to foods in poor condition. Sanitation to eliminate the accumulation of dead insects or animal carcasses, or the feces of birds or rodents, will decrease the occurrence of the beetles in a structure. If found indoors an inspection must be made to locate the source of the infestation, the source disposed of, and vacuuming and use of contact insecticides in that area done to eliminate wandering adult beetles.

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