Larder Beetles

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  • Colour Larder beetles are usually black or dark brown with a pale yellow or beige band across the wing covers featuring reddish brown spots.
  • Size about 7mm to 9mm in length
  • Description Larder beetles have a long oval shaped body with 6 legs and two short, club-shaped antennae. The pale band around the body is part of the covers that conceal wings enabling the Larder Beetle to fly
  • Notes The larvae are whitish-yellow, covered in long hairs, and have three sets of strong legs.
Larder Beetle

How To Identify Larder Beetles

Adult larder beetles range from 7mm to 9mm in length and are dark brown or black in colour with a pale yellow or beige band across the body. This band will have 6 dots arranged in a triangle pattern. The body will be covered in reddish brown or black setae which resemble fine hair, almost giving the appearance of fur. The legs of the Larder Beetle are similarly covered in fine yellow or beige setae.

Larder beetle larvae are slightly longer than the beetle itself at around 12 – 15 mm in length. The larvae resemble small worms but are reddish to dark brown in colour with fine setae, resembling hair, across most of the larvae’s surface. Each larva will have a pair of spines at the tail end that curve backwards resembling pincers. These are used to bore into surfaces to pupate

Signs Of An Infestation

Larder beetles are a stored product insect pest that feed on animal products such as dried meats, fish, cheese and dry pet foods, which results in them becoming inedible. They can also infest plant materials and products that contain animal protein. Larder Beetles will congregate wherever they have access to a high protein food source mainly cured meats from which the name larder is derived. This can also include dead rodents or clusters of dead insects or hair/fur build-up in cracks floors. Larder beetle larvae will feed until their food source is consumed and then move on seeking out a new food source. When the larvae reaches mature stage, it will move around in search of solid material to pupate in, it bores into the material and plugs the opening so it can use it to exit when it becomes an adult

How To Prevent A Larder Beetle Infestation

Larder beetles can often find their way into a home in spring. A small number does not necessarily mean that there is an infestation as they may have simply found their way in in search of food and have not yet found a food source suitable for reproduction. In small numbers Larder beetles may be picked up and taken outside. Inspect dry meat food items, dry pet foods and other potential food sources regularly. Store such food items in well sealed storage containers to prevent providing them with a food source and attracting the beetle. Clean out dead insects from light fixtures, clean out hair and fur build-ups in floor cracks or baseboards and where possible ensure there no animal carcasses in attics, behind walls or in crawl spaces.

A female larder beetle will lay approximately 100 – 800 eggs near a food source or in cracks. The eggs hatch in roughly 12 days. When larvae are spotted that usually indicates that there is an infestation. A serious infestation can involve large numbers of larvae beneath baseboards, and around windowsills.

Ensuring that food sources are kept sealed or disposed of will prevent the larder beetle from entering the home. Be aware of dead animals like rodents or birds in or near the home. Clear out attic or crawl spaces to ensure no food sources are present. Check rodent traps frequently and dispose of any trapped animals quickly. Keep dried food in tightly sealed containers to prevent the beetles from accessing it

Where Do Larder Beetles Live

Larder beetles prefer to lay their eggs in or on their food sources to provide sustenance for larvae. If dead insects are permitted to accumulate in attic spaces or light fixtures this can provide a suitable home for larder beetles. Abandoned bird nests beneath eaves or in an attic can also provide a foothold for larder beetles to multiply. Larvae can bore into soft materials like books or insulation, and even soft wood, looking for a suitable place to pupate. Pupae will typically be located near the food source that permitted the larvae to grow.

How Long Do Larder Beetles Live

Larder beetle eggs will hatch in roughly 12 days at which time the larvae will feed and then pupate until they emerge as adults. Adults will merge from the pupae stage and begin laying eggs again if a food source is present. The full life cycle of a larder beetle lasts 40 to 50 days under ideal temperatures and with a suitable food source. Many areas only see one generation per year so unless your home provides ideal conditions year-round an infestation will likely be temporary.

Commonly asked questions

Why do I have Larder Beetles?
An infestation of larder beetles typically means a suitable food source is available. Open containers of dried pet foods, light fixtures filled with dead insects, abandoned birds’ nets, and the presence of rodents or the remnants of rodent’s food sources will all give larder beetles a place to call home. Any high-protein food source like this can result in a problem with larder beetles in the home.

If a large number of larder beetles is found an attempt should be made to locate their food source and dispose of it. Contacting a pest control professional can make locating their food source much easier

How Worried Should I Be About Larder Beetles?
While larder beetle larvae will bore into surfaces looking for a place to grow to adulthood they do not bore to eat. Even should larvae bore into structural portions of a home or any other wood the damage they do is very slight. The greater impact is upon any food source that would also be desirable to humans or pets. Any food source that larder beetles have come into contact with should be discarded

Orkin Canada has control methods to help manage larder beetles. Contact your local Orkin Pro for help with issues or infestations.

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