Larder Beetle

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The larder beetle is a commercial pest as well as a household pest. True to its name, it is found in stored foods of high protein content.

Fast Facts

Color Adults are reddish brown with a tan band across the front portion of the two wing covers. Larva are brown in color and hairy.
Size Adults are 1/4 – 3/8″ in length.
Appearance The basal halves of the wing covers are densely covered with coarse, pale yellow hairs. Six dark spots are usually in the tan band. The under surface of the body and legs are covered with fine yellow hairs. Larva are comet shaped.

Diet

Larder beetles will attack stored ham, bacon, other meats, cheeses, tobacco, dried fish, dried museum specimens, and pet foods. The larvae will bore into any commodity containing meat products; they have also been known to bore into structural timbers.

Habitat

Larder beetles overwinter as adults in protected places. In spring, adults are attracted to areas that have suitable food. When larvae are searching for a place to pupate they have a habit of boring into wood and other hard materials.

Life Cycle

Through the summer months, females lay more than 100 eggs, which take about two weeks to hatch. The larvae will feed for 40-50 days on high protein food before pupating (transforming) into adult beetles. The pupal stage lasts from three to seven days depending on temperature and moisture conditions. If conditions are ideal, a generation may be completed in 40-50 days.

Signs of Infestation

Physically remove and discard any larder beetles that are found. However, if you are continually finding larvae or large numbers of adults, this indicates an infestation is present.

The first step in larder beetle control is to identify and dispose of the beetle’s food source. Without a food source, larder beetles will not survive.  If larder beetles and their larvae are found in high numbers or have been a reoccurring problem, a large food source or a renewable food source, such as dead cluster flies or boxelder bugs in the walls, may be the underlying cause. If the food source appears to be within a wall, letting the problem run its course is likely the best solution. Once the larder beetles have exhausted the food source they will disappear. For infestations located in foam insulation, dust or powder type insecticides are preferred.

If a larder beetle infestation occurs, count on a professional pest management service to take care of the problem knowledgeably and successfully.