Bug Scout 1979
Use Bait for Picnic Beetles
(Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University)
You don't suppose it's the sandwich that's attracting them, do you?
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September 1, 1979

Picnic beetles are hard-shelled black insects that have four pale yellow spots on their wing covers.  These insects feed on overripe fruits and vegetables and decayed plant material.  They are frequently uninvited guests at picnics.

One of the most effective ways of handling the backyard picnic beetle problems is to bait the area in advance.  Place fruit material like cut tomatoes or melon rinds in pans and spray with an insecticide.  Set out the bait pans in the picnic area an hour or two before you plan on using the area.

Picnic beetles also show up in cornfields.  They feed on stalks damaged by European cornborer or ear tips damaged by rootworm beetles.  These insects are not a primary problem on corn and control is seldom justified.  Picnic beetles on corn might, however, indicate an earlier problem with other insects.

by Tom Turpin, Entomologist, Purdue University

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