How To Get Rid of Beetles: Natural Beetle Repellent To Kill Types of Beetles

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | March 28, 2024

Man with a chair wonders how to get rid of beetles and if there are natural beetle repellent options, as well as how to kill beetle infestations and when to call an exterminator for beetles.

Want to learn how to get rid of beetles in your home and garden?

Unfortunately, there is good news and bad news for you if the bane of your existence is grappling with consistent beetle infestations.

The good news is that you can definitely take strategic and proactive steps to effectively eradicate beetle infestations from your home or garden with natural methods before resorting to killing them or calling exterminators.

Unfortunately, you may be unwittingly inviting beetles into your home with certain routines, small openings into your home, leaky pipes, or holding onto fabrics and clothes that you don’t need anymore.

This complete guide explains how to get rid of beetles using a variety of deterrents, the types of beetles that are the most common to cause problems, and also outlines when to call in a professional pest control company to exterminate a beetle problem before real damage can occur.

How To Get Rid of Beetles: 101

When it comes to learning how to get rid of beetles you must understand the specific species of beetle causing you infestation problems in the first place to use the appropriate removal methods.

The beetle is an ancient insect whose species aesthetics are noticeable even to those who don’t even realize that they are looking at a beetle.6

If you have ever seen a ladybug, then you already understand the basic aesthetic and physiological structure of a beetle; beetles have an oval and mound-shaped exoskeleton that is vibrantly colored with spindly insect legs.

An image of a black beetle on a tree log.

(Image: Romanowska, Weronika21)

These aesthetics vary according to the beetle species but almost all beetles can be recognized by this general appearance. (More on this later)

All beetles are insects but not all insects are beetles. Additionally, while there are some toxic and dangerous beetle species, almost all general beetle species are harmless, not counting their tendency to become pest scourges.

The beetle may have initially appeared over 295 million years ago according to the latest fossil records, although this estimate is bound to change in the future since new species are discovered regularly.6 There may be over 400,000 beetle species in existence, but modern science has barely cataloged about 25,000 to date.6 Considering the ubiquity of beetles throughout the world, some experts believe that that could be as many as 2 million beetle species waiting to be definitively cataloged.6

Beetles have been spiritually revered by ancient humans and even used as the inspiration for art and culture, especially in ancient Egypt.6 Over 300 distinct species of beetle are used for food and food products like dye, even to this day.6

Some people even unabashedly keep beetles as pets, especially the larger and non-flying ground beetles.

Over 40% of all known insect species are beetles. Additionally, over 25% of all the known and classified animal species on the planet can be classified as beetles.

Beetles grow from an egg into larvae, the larvae transform into pupae, go dormant, transform into a cocoon, and then metamorphize into a beetle.

General Tips for Dealing With House Beetle Infestations

The best strategy for learning how to get rid of beetles is proactively inspecting your home regularly, keeping it decluttered, sealing potential entry points, and keeping it decluttered.

If you find your home infested with general nuisance pest species of beetles, here are some tips on how to deal with them.

Natural Beetle Repellent

Most beetles are repulsed by lavender, neem, and mint plants. So, you may want to add such plants to your garden as a repellant measure.

You can also add two or three drops of lavender, neem, or mint-based essential oil to water, put it in a spray bottle, and spray any areas of suspected beetle infestation.

Photo of lavenders in the middle of an open field.

(Image: Spratt, Annie22)

Pyrethrin is an all-natural, non-toxic, and organic pesticide that is derived and chemically processed from Chrysanthemum flowers.14 You can safely spray pyrethrin organic insecticide products on plants or around your home to flush out and kill beetles and other insects. Once exposed to pyrethrin, beetles go into shock, experience the insect equivalent of nervous system spasms and misfirings, and die.

You may need to employ several low-dose sprays of pyrethrin and monitor progress to achieve optimal effects. While this organic insecticide is considered non-toxic, you may want to consult the advice of professional exterminators before using it.

How To Keep Beetles Off Plants

If you don’t want to use industrial-strength pesticides on or near your plants, the best method to keep beetles off of your plants is to manually inspect them daily. Look for beetles and pick them off the plant.

Repeat this process daily to remove infestations from your plants.

Additional Natural Beetle Repellent Options

There are numerous natural and proactive beetle-repellant options that you can utilize to guard your home, garden, and landscape against beetle infestations. Unfortunately, you must initiate such measures proactively long before you suffer a bad beetle infestation, or in the aftermath of such to prevent it from happening again.

Beetles are repulsed by and tend to avoid tree species like pine, holly, boxwoods, coral bells, and dogwoods. You could strategically plant seedlings or young tree saplings of such species around your property to act as a natural barrier against beetles.

Image of a blue-type of flower.

(Image: Rozwadowska, Anna20)

Additionally, beetles are generally repulsed by flower species like Chrysanthemums, Impatiens,  Hostas, Forget Me Nots, and Coral Bells.

How To Kill Beetles

If you have a bad beetle infestation in your home, you could employ the use of boric acid or Borax to kill beetles. Boric acid and Borax are not toxic to humans or pets as long as they are not exposed to it for long periods. However, you may need to use a lot of the stuff over an extended period as it may take several treatments to see appreciable results.

You can sprinkle generous amounts of Borax or boric acid on carpets, floors, and areas where suspect beetles are hiding. Just remember to keep pets and children away from these areas as the treatments take effect.

You can repurpose rodent glue traps to trap large beetles, but the cleanup will be messy and aesthetically unpleasant to deal with.

How To Get Rid of Beetles in Garden Settings for Good

Milky spore is a fungus-derived bacterium that can be safely applied to soil to kill the larvae of beetles dwelling and feeding underground on plant roots before reaching maturity.15 After the Milky Spore is strategically applied to the soil, the larvae eating the roots and plant matter underneath will also consume the Milky Spores and die.

As the deceased beetle larvae and grubs decompose underground, their carcasses will continue to spread milky spore residue into the soil and continually add extra protection to the soil.

The application of Milky Spore in gardens and landscapes is safe for the environment, humans, and animals. However, you should only apply this natural bacteria in your soil under the consultation and assistance of a gardening or extermination expert.

Beetles Are Everywhere

Beetles will always find a way into your home or garden, and that is not a bad thing. Beetles have existed for hundreds of millions of years, were once worshiped by ancient humans, have been used as food by ancient humans, and are still being used as a food source by human beings to this very day, and are a necessary element of local and global ecology equilibrium.

Sometimes, your beetle infestation may have been caused by you bringing food items into your home that already contained small beetles or beetle larvae. Don’t worry, you will learn more about this fact of reality in this guide; the USDA legally allows minute traces of rodent and insect filth and hairs or insect fragments and larvae in industrial food supplies because there is no way to prevent such contamination on an industrial scale.1

You might temporarily banish a beetle infestation from your home and then unwittingly reintroduce it again later. Don’t panic, but your home is probably teeming with at least 200 species of bugs, insects, and aphids right now, not just beetles.

The typical American household is teeming with over 200 distinct species of tiny, imperceptible creepy crawlies including spiders, ants, centipedes, gnats, midges, and even harmless lice that feed on the paper in books.2 Your home is always teeming with multiple varieties of bug life, you just don’t notice them until one species rapidly explodes in population into an infestation.

Honestly, beetles are a beneficial component of local ecosystems and are even commercially useful to humans. For example, ladybugs are actually a species of beetle that are incalculably more beneficial to garden health than you may realize. Ladybug beetles are apex predators of the garden world and are revered for insatiable hunting and eating garden pests.

One ladybug can hunt and devour over 5,000 garden pests like ants, mealybugs, aphids, mites, leafhoppers, and even insect eggs over its lifespan.3 You most definitely want and need the ladybug beetle pest predator in your garden or on your landscape. However, they become nuisances and pests if they invade your home. (More on that later)

Many of the vibrant food colorings used on candies, deserts, and other food products are made from the sun-dried and crushed remains of bugs and beetles like the ladybug even to this day. If you see the words “cochineal,” or “carmine,” based extract listed on a food product’s ingredient list then you should know that it is a dye that was created by processing over 70,000 cochineal bugs to produce one pound of dye.4 Unscrupulous manufacturers try to skirt ingredient disclosure laws by calling bug-derived coloring ingredients “natural,” so as not to gross out consumers.

The Starbucks corporation had to publicly release a press statement in 2012 vowing to cease the use of red dye food coloring in its drinks and food products derived from the processing of crushed insects like ladybugs after severe public backlash.5

The point here is that beetles have been a crucial component of human society, culture, and food stocks for millennia. While there are many beetle species that are beneficial to humans and the environment there are just as many species that are innate pests that eat wood, food supplies, fabrics, and take shelter in human dwellings.

If you are suffering from a bad beetle infestation, this comprehensive guide will show you natural methods to eradicate them, how to kill a beetle and gauge the best time to start comparing local exterminator prices.

The issue is that there are too many beetle species to count in the world and you must know the specific species of beetle pestering you to exterminate it properly. Even the exterminator you call to mitigate your beetle infestation problem must know the name of the beetle species before developing an appropriate eradication method.

Before you learn how to get rid of beetles naturally, here is what you must know about beetles and how to identify some common household species first.



  • Description: Generally oval-shaped insect species with a hard and rigid exoskeleton, antennae, mandible, and spindly legs
  • Natural Habitat: The oldest known beetle fossils to date originate in ancient Germany
  • Locations: Beetles can be located on every land mass on the planet except for the polar regions

Image Credit: Jessica Towne26

Even the most severe beetle infestations imaginable can be efficiently solved if you remain vigilant as a homeowner, regularly inspect your property, garden, and landscape, and refrain from cluttering your home with unused fabrics and unsecured food that is exposed to the elements.

The bad news is that you can only learn how to get rid of beetles as a temporary goal. There is almost an incalculable number of beetle species in existence, so you must identify distinct pest beetle species causing you problems to properly eradicate them.

What Does a Beetle Look Like?

Virtually all beetle species have six spindly legs, foldable wings, extended and protruding mandibles, a rigid and usually bright-colored exoskeleton, and antennae.

Most beetles are oval and mound-shaped. Most beetles can fly but not as efficiently as other winged insects.

Beetle species can be differentiated via wing shape, size, color, and diet.

Types of Beetles

As previously mentioned, scientists have successfully classified tens of thousands of beetle species but have also theorized that there could potentially be over 2 million undiscovered beetle species that have yet to be properly identified and classified.6

Each distinct beetle species has its own characteristics and food preferences. Some beetle species are annoying pests while others can be commercially destructive pests that can destroy entire harvests on industrial scales. The USDA regularly updates a guidebook to help farmers and agricultural corporations identify and exterminate the Khapra Beetle, which can destroy anywhere between 30 percent to 70 percent of crop harvests once an infestation takes hold.7

As a homeowner, there are several beetle species that you are more likely to encounter in your home or garden than others. Here is a short list of what to look out for if you want to learn how to get rid of beetles at home.

1. Japanese Beetle (Popillia Japonica)

The Japanese beetle is a destructive agricultural and garden pest that is native to Japan.8 While the Japanese beetle has natural predators in its native Japan it is wildly destructive in the United States. The Japanese beetle is known for completely eating and destroying lawns, gardens, and landscapes; the Japanese beetle is a documented pest to over 300 plant species.8

Japanese beetles will completely devour a plant, except for connective veins, while its larvae gestate, grow underground, and eat plants from the root upwards. The shell of the Japanese beetle is usually an iridescent, metallic green color while its thick wings are copper-hued. Japanese beetles are usually less than an inch long.

How To Get Rid of Japanese Beetles

If you want to learn how to get rid of Japanese beetles, you have several options. Japanese beetles are repulsed by the smell or proximity to their own dead.9 Put on plastic gloves and collect as many Japanese beetles as you can find.

Then, crush them or drown them in a bowl with equal parts water and soap. Then, strategically place the dead beetles around your garden and bury some in the soil around your plants. You can also puree a mix of Japanese beetles and water, put the slurry in a spray bottle, and spray on the soil and areas around your garden.

Close up top view photo of a Ladybug.

(Image: Welter-Schultes, Francisco23)

2. Ladybug or Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia Axyridis)

The Asian Lady beetle is an Asian beetle species that is also a member of the ladybug species.10 As previously mentioned, most ladybug species are beneficial hunters of garden pests and are usually harmless to humans.

The Asian beetle is generally harmless, though some species might bite humans if they feel threatened.10 They don’t eat wood or fabrics, but they could become a visual nuisance as they are notorious for invading homes to hibernate during the winter months.

Additionally, the Asian Lady beetle will eject unpleasantly pungent yellow blood from its body when it feels threatened.10

How To Get Rid of Asian Lady Beetles

If you want to know how to get rid of Asian lady beetles, your best option may be to do nothing.

Asian Lady beetles hibernate in homes during winter months, to look for water, and will leave during the spring. You could use a modified bug vacuum like a bee vacuum to collect them and then release them outdoors.

You should seal up every tiny opening you find and completely weatherstrip your home after removing Asian Lady beetles. Once a ladybug infestation starts to aggressively overwinter in your home for hibernation, they will try to do it every winter.

3. Carpet Beetle (Anthrenus Scrophulariae)

There are many species of carpet beetle in existence, but the most common types are called the buffalo carpet beetle or the common carpet beetle.11 The carpet beetle kind of looks like a smaller and flatter version of the ladybug and is usually red, tan, brown, black, or orange-colored in speckled patterns.

Close up photo and top view of a Carpet Beetle.

(Image: Welter-Schultes, Francisco24)

The adult version of the carpet beetle loves feeding on fruit nectar and pollen, but its larvae eat clothing, carpets, and fabrics. Physical contact with carpet beetles can cause dermatitis.

How To Get Rid of Carpet Beetles

The best way to strategize how to get rid of carpet beetles is to aggressively segregate and remove any clothing or fabrics that you suspect of being infected and have them steam cleaned. You can also aggressively vacuum carpets and use high-temperature steam cleaning to remove or kill carpet beetle larvae hiding in carpets.

You can also sprinkle boric acid on your carpet and anywhere else you suspect carpet beetles are hiding. Boric acid toxicity should kill the beetles, however, keep pets and children away from these treatments.

Close up photo of a Ground Beetle devouring a leaf.

(Image: Bj.schoenmakers25)

4. Ground Beetle (Carabidae)

There are over 40,000 distinct species of ground beetles globally. Additionally, well over 2,000 ground beetle species can be found in North America.12 Ground beetles are flatter than typical beetles, larger and longer, and their bodies usually have two elongated segments instead of one oval dome-shaped body like a ladybug.

Ground beetles have ridged lower shells and are usually colored black or deeply metallic sheen hues of green, blue, or numerous other colors.

Unlike many other beetle species, the ground beetle cannot fly. The ground beetle is an insect predator that eats other pests, insects, larvae, eggs, smaller invertebrate animals, and plants depending on the species.

Ground beetles might infest homes after being attracted by lights and entering small entry points looking for water. Ground beetles do not eat fabrics and they are not a threat to humans; however, it must be noted that ground beetles can pinch and some species can eject a foul-smelling liquid that might sting if it hits you in the eye.

A ground beetle infestation in your home might creep you out if you are used to the sight of them, but they are generally harmless. A ground beetle infestation would be aesthetically unpleasant more than anything.

How To Get Rid of Ground Beetle in House

Ground beetles are very large and cannot fly. You could pick them up, collect them, and relocate them outside. Or, you could repurpose rodent glue traps to catch them.

Your best option is to use a low-power bug vacuum, like a vacuum, and use it to collect them.

Ground beetles are much larger than other typical beetle species. Some ground beetles can exceed one inch in length.13 If you are finding large ground beetles in your home then there are probably multiple entry points to your home for insects you are unaware of.

Inspect your home and plumbing system and seal up any insect entry points you find.

Are Diatomaceous Earth Applications an Effective Beetle Treatment?

Diatomaceous earth is a powdery silica-like substance that is derived from the fossils of ancient algae.16 It is used in numerous industrial processes, but it is commercially popular for its use as a pest control ingredient. Diatomaceous Earth is safe to use as long as you or your pets do not inhale it.

Diatomaceous earth is extremely abrasive. Food-grade diatomaceous earth was often used as an integral component in toothpaste products.16 Once beetles are coated in diatomaceous earth, which also acts like a desiccant, the beetle will aggressively dehydrate and die.

It may take numerous applications around your home or garden to see appreciable effects. Adding diatomaceous soil also enhances soil retention.

When To Call Exterminator for Beetles

If you follow the advice within this comprehensive guide on how to get rid of beetles and still notice significant infestation problems then you should call a professional exterminator.

A professional exterminator should schedule an initial consultation, inspect your property and suspected infestation sites, try to identify the beetle species causing the infestation, and then develop the appropriate extermination method.

What Is the Average Cost for Beetle Pest Control and To Hire a Beetle Exterminator?

The typical one-time cost to hire a beetle exterminator can be as little as $260 or as much as $370.17 However, depending on the species of the beetle infestation and the severity of the problem, you may have to retain a beetle exterminator to perform multiple extermination treatments.

You might have to pay a beetle exterminator hundreds or a few thousand to solve your beetle infestation problem. Don’t expect a one-and-done visit from an exterminator to solve the problem.

What Proactive Steps Can Be Taken To Prevent a Beetle Infestation?

As previously mentioned, beetles have been a part of human culture for millennia. Beetles are virtually everywhere in the world and you may be unwittingly bringing them home with you.

Remove, segregate, and clean your garden clothes before venturing too far into your home. You may unwittingly introduce small beetles or beetle larvae in your home via clothing contamination after a visit to your garden.

Systematically inspect your home and water pipes for small, insect-sized entry points into your home. Strategically insulate and weather strip your home to block entry access to any beetle access into it.

Inspect your food grains and veggies when you bring such food home and always store your grains in plastic containers.

How To Get Rid of Beetles: Pinpointing the Problem

If you develop a beetle infestation problem then you must accept that the beetles did not just magically appear to annoy you.

They were ferried into your home via clothing contamination or surreptitiously entered through holes in walls or food. Understanding how they appeared is just as important as knowing their species classification in terms of developing a strategy to eradicate them.

Beetles have been around for almost 300 million years according to fossil records but may have existed for much longer than that. So, you can potentially insulate your home and garden against beetles to some degree, but you will never realistically be rid of beetles because they are everywhere.

If you want to know how to get rid of beetles then you should insulate and seal your home, watch your groceries and clothes for contamination, and learn the local species of beetles to help develop proper extermination methods.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Get Rid of Beetles

Are There Any Beetle Species That Are Toxic and Dangerous to Humans?

The blister beetle is a known crop pest that secretes a poisonous toxin on its body.18 If you touched it for a prolonged period or crushed it you might develop caustic blisters.

If you ingested fragments of its body part then you could become fatally poisoned, but such a scenario is unlikely.

What Do Beetles Eat?

Beetles eat dead insects, live insects, larvae, eggs, fungi, plant matter, invertebrate animals, wood, processed fabrics, agricultural crops, and dead animal carcasses depending on the particular species.

What Do Beetle Larvae Look Like?

Beetle larvae look like a combination of grubs and worms. Beetle larvae loot like think-width wiggling worms with thick spiky hairs growing out of them.

Beetle larvae can hide in carpets, openings in wood, and underneath soil. If you don’t exterminate the larvae during a treatment then you are wasting your time and ensuring another infestation eruption.

Does the USDA Really Allow for the Legal Contamination of Beetle Parts in Food?

Agricultural and food processing centers can’t realistically keep out the bug, rodent, and insect-based contamination of industrial-scale food supplies. The larvae of many different kinds of insects, including beetles, are allowed to contaminate food to small, portion-sized degrees relative to the volume of food consumed.

The world is teeming with insect life and pests that feed on crops and lay larval eggs long before they become processed for food, so the USDA can’t realistically keep food 100% contamination-free from bugs and insects.

Are There Any Other Creepy Natural Predators That Hunt Beetles?

Nematodes are microscopic bacterial worms that can be applied to soil to strategically hunt, invade the bodies of beetles and beetle larvae, and then eat them from the inside out.19 Nematodes are a kind of extreme biological pest control for gardens and soil infested with beetles or other pests.

The nematodes will invade the beetle or larvae through an orifice and start to eat it from the inside out. Then, the nematode will start to reproduce and multiply itself within the cadaver husk of the beetle until explodes with hundreds or thousands of microscopic nematodes.

Nematodes must be strategically applied every year to the soil relative to the severity of the infestation problems.


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20Forget Me Not Photo by Rozwadowska, Anna. Resized and Changed Format. Unsplash. Retrieved January 4, 2024 from <>

21Beetle Photo by Romanowska, Weronika. Resized and Changed Format. Unsplash. Retrieved January 4, 2024 from <>

22Lavender Plant Photo by Spratt, Annie. Resized and Changed Format. Unsplash. Retrieved January 4, 2024 from <>

23Ladybug Photo by Welter-Schultes, Francisco. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia. Retrieved January 4, 2024 from <>

24Carpet Beetle Photo by Welter-Schultes, Francisco. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia. Retrieved January 4, 2024 from <>

25Ground Beetle Photo by Bj.schoenmakers. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia. Retrieved from <,_Arnhem,_the_Netherlands_-_2.jpg>

26Dor beetle (Geotrupes stercorarius) Photo by Jessica Towne / CC0 1.0 DEED | CC0 1.0 Universal. Cropped, Resized, Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved February 13, 2024, from <>