The Three Common UK Beetles

The scientific name for beetles is Coleoptera and despite being quite rare in the UK (in contrast to ants, wasps, etc), they make up the world’s largest order of animals at 25%. 

Beetles are characterised by their sheathed wings, or ‘armoured’ layer, that surrounds the delicate wings beneath. Many beetles in the UK are harmless and serve a beneficial purpose for the environment, though there are some that have no natural enemies to control their population and this is when beetles become an issue. 

Beetles in the UK

The UK plays host to the following beetles: 

  • Biscuit Beetles 
  • Carpet Beetles 
  • Death Watch Beetles 
  • Furniture Beetles (Woodworms) 
  • Ground Beetles 
  • Larder Beetles 
  • Longhorn Beetles 

Biscuit Beetles, Carpet Beetles and Ground Beetles are the types of beetle we often find ourselves removing from properties, so it would be wise to first talk about these first. However, many of these you will rarely come across during your day-to-day life,as the majority like to keep to themselves, residing in woodland areas and other mossy habitats. 

Safeguard Pest Control Carpet Beetles

Biscuit Beetles

Size: 3mm long 
Colour: Red/brown 
Found: Food cupboards 

One of the most common beetles not just in the UK but across the globe. 


Biscuit beetles are usually found in food cupboards, retail premises and domestic properties. These beetles are often confused with the Common Furniture Beetles (also known as Woodworms). If you have open packets of flour, biscuits, cakes, cereals or foods that are high in fibre or carbohydrates then it’s more likely that these beetles will infiltrate your food supplies. 

Stranger, however, these beetles will also feed on drugs such as strychnine, belladonna and aconite. In the U.S it’s known as the Drug Store Beetle because of its dependence on such substances! 

How to get rid of them 

The solution is simple, throw out any infested food! Wipe-down the surfaces and ensure that you have cleaned the area thoroughly. It might also be worth checking your property for any bird’s nests (garages, underneath roofs, outdoor ceilings etc) as these beetles thrive in nests. 

Carpet Beetles

Size: 4mm long 
Colour: Brown/beige with black and white dots 
Found: Carpets, floorboards, curtains, anywhere with soft material 

Known as ‘woolly bears’ these little beetles have overtaken moths as the pest that devours the most items of clothing! 

Their appearance makes them look like a furry ladybird, though the red and black has been replaced by brown, white and black. The main sign of Carpet Beetle infestation is finding their cast-off skins strewn across your carpet/floor. 

How to get rid of them 

Lofts, attics and bird’s nests are where they’re typically found. Be sure to vacuum these areas thoroughly and open as many windows as possible to air-out the property. You’ll need an insecticide to efficiently rid any remains of these beetles. So, spray any areas where they thrive and ensure the carpets are cleaned thoroughly. 

Ground Beetles 

Size: 25mm 
Colour: Black, violet, brown 
Found: Homes, warm areas 

These beetles vary in colour, though they’re usually seen to be black. 

Growing up to 25mm makes them fall within the larger UK beetle category but they’re nothing to be afraid of. They’re likely to enter your property seeking warmth and comfort. They do not like cold atmospheres, so you won’t find them residing in mossy areas â€“ unlike other beetles. They pose no threat to humans and it is very rare that you’ll find more than a couple in your property at any given time. 

How to get rid of them 

There is no real need to remove these beetles, as they pose no threat to humans and they don’t eat your food supplies. The only necessary action you should take is simply removing them in a safe manner from your property. 

Controlling Beetles

In the UK, we’re lucky that beetles don’t pose a massive threat to our daily lives. Beetles in the UK are practically harmless, and they don’t tend to swarm in the way that ants, wasps, or other insects do. They’re independent insects that usually wind up in your home because they’re seeking shelter and/or food. 

Combating beetles is simple and doesn’t require too much effort. Although, if you do find yourself struggling to live with beetles, please do not hesitate to contact Safeguard. Our friendly staff are always on hand to answer any queries or concerns you may have.

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