From the Forum – Beetle Infestation



Over the weekend, my roommates and I discovered dozens of dead/dying insects throughout the first floor of our Shaw rowhouse. We swept them all up only to find dozens more on the floor the next day. We maintain a clean house and it didn’t appear that the bugs were feeding on anything in particular. After some research, we determined that the insect was a Black Tipped Soldier Beetle (Rhagonycha fulva). Has anyone had a similar issue with these beetles? If so, how did you handle it and is it the landlord’s obligation? Thanks for the help!

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8 Comment

  • I have previously rented out (ie, as the LL) a single family residence. in the leases that I used, it stated that shoveling snow, mowing grass, maintaining general outside cleanliness, and all pest-control matters were the responsibility of the tenants.

    Does your lease contain anything regarding pests?

  • You can put whatever you want in a lease, but the law of the jurisdiction will always trump that.

    This person is looking for help in identifying what causes infestations of these bugs, and what to do about it, not landlord/tenant law advice.

    I’ve had beetle infestations, but not this kind, but carpet beetles (named because they like wool.) Were you able to figure out what these beetles like to feed on?

  • The sudden appearance of the beetles is puzzling, but given that they’re already dead/dying, I’m not sure how much more can realistically be done. If you or the landlord gets an exterminator in, the exterminator will likely do a treatment that results in dead/dying bugs.
    The bigger worry is if the OP starts seeing beetles that are spry and healthy.

  • This little guy is considered a highly beneficial beetle, most of the info you’ll find on the web is about attracting them, not getting rid of them. They eat aphids and other tiny bugs. Gardeners love them. That said, I don’t know anybody who likes any sort of bug IN the house.
    Have you had any work done on the house recently? They’d rather live outside, but could be trapped in a wall after the house is painted etc, and will escape to the inside. They’ll also come in for water or to avoid the heat. Most likely they’ve swarmed on the house, started a nest, and are just “wandering” into through a wall.
    You can’t really spray for these so walk the perimeter and find an entry location, then do a solid house cleaning and look for signs of entry, wall receptacles, windows, plumbing through the wall, basically any gap that looks like a nice route.
    The Tenants Bill of Rights and DC Title 14 put pest control on the you AND the landlord (it’s actually super complicated and hard to enforce, plus it matters if it’s rats or bugs ex- In a single family res it’s the lardlords job to make the place rat proof, but your job to get rid of rats that show up?!). Since it’s not a rat or a roach and not an on-going infestation, my $$$ says they’ll tell you to watch it and wait, if it’s a problem give us a call next spring… If you’ve done your homework maybe you can get them to patch/spray foam the potential entry points.

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