Larder Beetles

Facts, Identification, & Control

Latin Name

Dermestes lardarius (L.)

Appearance

What Do They Look Like?

larder beetle

  • Body: The larder beetle is a large oval insect. Adults are about 7 to 9 mm long.
  • Color: They are usually black with a yellow band across the wing covers. There are several dark spots in the yellow area.
  • Characteristics: They are a pest of cured meat and other stored food products. It is a member of the beetle group called dermestid beetles.

How Did I Get Larder Beetles?

Larder beetles enter homes through open doors or cracks in walls during the late summer and fall to escape cold weather. They overwinter near food sources, particularly in kitchen pantries.

How Serious Are Larder Beetles?

Damage
When larder beetles gather in hundreds or thousands, damage can become significant. While they can harm home support structures in very rare cases, their most costly damage stems from food and animal-product contamination.

When it’s time for larvae to pupate, they can bore into the nearest materials including:

  • Food
  • Books
  • Feathers
  • Fur
  • Insulation

Are They Dangerous?
Larder beetles don’t bite humans or spread disease, but their presence is bothersome and unsanitary.

Signs of Infestation

Common signs of larder beetle infestation include:

  • Fecal pellets.
  • Holes in items.
  • Skin shed from hairy larvae.

How Do I Get Rid of Larder Beetles?

What You Can Do
Controlling larder beetles requires thorough inspection and cleaning. The objective is to find the source of the infestation and remove anything infested. Some control and prevention measures include:

  • Inspection: Check for infested fur or animal trophies. Examine garages and storage rooms for infested pet food or animal feed. It’s also a good idea to inspect bird or animal nests in attics, wall voids, and crawlspaces.
  • Sanitation: Discard any infested packages found in kitchen cabinets or pantries and vacuum empty shelves.
  • Storage practices: Store food products in sealed containers.

What Orkin Does
Inspection and cleaning are critical parts in solving most larder beetle infestations. Insecticide is used for eliminating any beetles that are changing into adults. The insecticide will be effective if it is applied into the cracks and crevices at the back of the shelves and behind the baseboard. To avoid misapplication or misidentification, it is preferable to call your local pest control professional.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep larder beetles in their place and out of your home or business.


Behavior, Diet, & Habits

What Do They Eat?
When they invade a home, larder beetles move into dark areas where they can find food. They prefer to feed on:

  • Cheese
  • Dead insects
  • Dry pet food
  • Feathers
  • Horns
  • Skin
  • Stored meat

Reproduction

Larder beetle populations increase rapidly, as females lay over 100 eggs at a time. These beetles lay eggs in the spring and summer. When the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into nearby food material. The larvae mature to pupae and then adults in two or three months.

When they change into adults, the larvae leave the food and burrow into a solid material. Then, they make a small chamber and seal themselves inside.