These beetles are small, approximately 1 to 3.8 mm in length, reddish brown in colour and frequently covered with yellowish hairs.
The most common pest species have a pronounced thickening to the front facing angle of the prothorax and may have projections along the lateral margins of the prothorax.
The antennae of the cryptophagids are eleven segmented with an obvious three-segmented club.
Their larvae are 2 to 3mm long, yellowish white with two horn-like projections at the hind end.
These beetles, as their name suggests, eat moulds and fungal conidia and hyphae in their larval and adult stages.
The adult female beetles lay eggs singly amongst the moulds and the larvae emerge from the eggs to feed.
Once mature, the larvae pupate in small cracks and crevices amongst the fungi.
In common with other insects, development times are influenced by temperature, relative humidity, moisture content, quantity and quality of food. The following figures are therefore only a guide.
Worldwide. 134 species occur in Europe. 100 species are found in the UK.
The beetles, as mentioned above, feed on moulds and wherever these organisms are to be found, the beetles thrive. They are frequently minor pests of stored grain and hay when dampness is a problem and also they can frequently be found in newly built or refurbished houses/office with recent plaster work where the plaster sustains quite substantial fungal and mould populations. The beetles can be found crawling over the walls in large numbers. The vast majority of cryptophagid beetles are not pest species and are to be found in leaf litter, animal nests, hollow trees ect.
Please call East Lancashire Pest Control on 0800 023 6116