Blood red in color with long black antennae, the blood callidium is easily identifiable. Are these red beetles harmful to humans and to frames, parquet floors and woodwork?
The blood callidium, also known as the red beetle, enters our homes and gardens via heating logs, in which the females like to hide their eggs.
What is the red beetle or blood callidia?
The blood callidium or red beetle, also known by the scientific name Pyrrhidium sanguineum, belongs to the pyrochroidae family.
Easily recognizable with its bright red color and modest size, it is a wood-eating insect that you can find near your firewood.
This insect has a fairly short lifespan. The female will lay eggs on dead wood and deposit the larval eggs in the cracks of the wood. The wood-eating larvae take almost two years to hatch: the adult insects then dig galleries in the wood to escape. But the heat of our homes can accelerate their development.
What does the red beetle look like?
The red beetle exhibits bright red coloration, often with darker shades around the edges of the body.
- It measures between 8 and 20 millimeters.
- Its body is elongated and covered with hair
- Its thorax is angular.
- It has six short legs.
- The antennae are black and slightly enlarged at the tip.
- Its elytra are red and covered with hair.
Where and when can the red beetle be found?
Red beetles are frequently found near woods, in gardens, parks or meadows. They are attracted to dead wood, leaves and tree trunks.
The blood callid particularly likes deciduous wood: oak, maple, ash, beech, cherry, poplar, birch, hornbeam, chestnut. She likes conifers less.
In homes, they often enter through firewood logs in which the larvae sleep. These insects are most active in spring, from March to June. However, they can be seen more rarely in winter.
Is blood callidium a pest?
Even if the blood callid is wood-eating, it does not attack the frames, beams, parquet floors and other woodwork in your home, unlike the house beetle, termites or woodworm. It is a common species, which poses no danger to humans (no bites), nor even to the garden or vegetable patch. This parasite only eats dead wood with bark.
Although the red beetle is not considered a major pest to plants or homes, this insect can become invasive.
To eliminate them naturally and avoid infestation, you can use:
– Baking soda or diatomaceous earth.
– Lavender or mint, which are good natural repellents to act preventively.
– Natural insecticides, such as neem or pyrethrum, to be used in moderation to control infestations.
Insecticides should be avoided for treatment, particularly on fireplace logs: the chemical components of the product could affect the proper combustion of your firewood.
Blood callidium is therefore harmless and its life expectancy is very short. To prevent these red wood-eating beetles from spreading inside your house, leave your logs outside and only bring in what you need on a daily basis.