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Larder Beetles

Larder beetles, scientifically known as Dermestes lardarius, are a common species of beetles that belong to the family Dermestidae. These beetles are named after their tendency to infest and feed on stored food products, especially cured meats, hence the term “larder.”
  1. Appearance: Larder beetles are relatively small insects, measuring about 6 to 9 millimeters in length. They have an elongated oval-shaped body with a characteristic dark brown to black coloration. The body is covered with tiny hairs, giving them a somewhat fuzzy or velvety appearance.
  2. Life Cycle: Larder beetles undergo complete metamorphosis, transitioning through four distinct life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The female beetles lay their eggs on or near potential food sources. After hatching, the larvae emerge and begin feeding on organic matter, including animal carcasses, dried meat, cheese, pet food, and even dead insects. The larvae undergo several molts as they grow, leaving behind their exoskeletons. Once the larval stage is complete, they enter the pupal stage before eventually emerging as adults.
  3. Diet and Feeding Habits: As scavengers and decomposers, larder beetle larvae feed on a wide range of organic materials. Their preferred food sources include dried meats, bacon, ham, fish, cheese, and animal hides. They are also known to infest natural history collections, feeding on preserved specimens. Adult larder beetles primarily feed on pollen and nectar from flowers.
  4. Habitat and Distribution: Larder beetles can be found worldwide, inhabiting a variety of environments, including homes, warehouses, food processing facilities, and natural habitats. They are attracted to areas where they can find suitable food sources and breeding opportunities.
  5. Damage and Concerns: While larder beetles play a valuable role in nature by aiding in the decomposition process, they can become pests when they infest homes or food storage areas. Their larvae can cause extensive damage by feeding on and contaminating stored food products, leading to significant economic losses. Additionally, their presence in homes or commercial settings can be unhygienic and undesirable.
  6. Prevention and Control: To prevent larder beetle infestations, it is essential to maintain proper sanitation and storage practices. This includes storing food items in airtight containers, regularly cleaning and vacuuming food storage areas, and promptly disposing of any infested materials. If an infestation is already present, professional pest control measures may be necessary to eliminate the beetles and prevent further damage.
Understanding the biology of larder beetles is crucial for effectively managing and preventing infestations. By implementing proper sanitation practices and taking necessary precautions, homeowners and businesses can minimize the risk of larder beetle problems and preserve the integrity of their stored food products.

I'm always a little hesitant to show some pics out of concern for the squeamish...but if you're following this page it can't be that bad. 😅 So, here we have an expired mouse and accompanying this little guy is a couple of Larder Beetles.  If you are seeing these occasional invaders it could be an indication of another pest problem, in this case a mouse infestation.

Larder Beetle

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