Larder beetles belong to the Dermestidae family. There are about twenty different species of larder beetles in Quebec. In their adult form, they are dark brown or black with a yellowish stripe across their back on which there are 6 black dots.
They are about 8 mm long. The female lays about 200 eggs on a food source and a dozen days later, the larva comes to life. In the larval stage, they look like small brown worms that are slightly hairy and measure from 3 mm to 5 mm long. Their heads have two short club-shaped antennae.
Development and Behaviours
It is in their larval stage that larder beetles cause the most trouble. The larvae, once their development is completed, move about randomly and end up reaching various rooms of houses through cracks, fissures, and ceiling lights. Larder beetles are often found in new buildings or recent constructions.
Adult larder beetles, just like their larvae, mainly feed on dead insects (mainly cluster flies and ladybugs), as well as dead rodents, birds or dead animals that they find in attics. They feed on a wide range of food such as rotten food or things stored in walls by a rodent population that has infested your building. Both beetles and rodents are likely to transmit food infections. In addition, the larvae may cause allergies.
Finally, these pests can damage furs, mounted animals, insect collections, fabrics, and books, as well as materials that larvae tunnel into to hide.
Here are some preventive tips to follow in order to avoid a larder beetle infestation in your house:
- Wash your curtains?
- Remove dirt from the cushions?
- Vacuum regularly?
- Clean behind your furniture?
- Keep your food in airtight containers?
- Make sure there are no grease stains on the floor or on the walls?
- Thoroughly clean any textile item?
- Seal cracks and crevices, vents and holes behind furniture?
You have to find the nest as soon as possible
Larder beetles are not inclined to leave larvae scattered everywhere or to separate from each other over great distances. This is an opportunity for you to find the nest as soon as possible before the infestation gets worse.
The main places they can hide without you noticing are:
- Air ducts?
- Illuminated places where there is a lot of shade or places to hide ?
- In places where you keep your food (pantry, etc.)?
- In upholstered furniture or textile products made of leather or feathers?
The presence of beetles can become a nightmare if the necessary intervention is not done in time. Normally, people use synthetic or organic insecticides, traps or even natural predators to get rid of them.
Here are some recommendations to follow if you have an infestation of larder beetles:
- Prevent flies and ladybugs, among other things, from entering your home before the winter.?
- Pest control treatments could be necessary to control the presence of larder beetles and other pests whose activity had not been detected previously.
- Chemicals are especially used to kill beetles, however, you need to know what species you have to kill, in addition to knowing how to handle these products properly, as they are toxic and can pose risks to you and your pets.?
Sometimes the invasion can reach such a level that even if two or more methods are put in place, it still won’t be enough to eradicate the larder beetle population. The safest way to get rid of larder beetles is to hire a pest management specialist.
If you have a larder beetle problem, schedule an appointment with one of our VExtermination branch offices right away to get advice from experienced professionals in the field who will be able to advise you about the best treatments on the market for a safe, healthy environment.