What On Earth Is A Larder Beetle?◀ Back To Blog
November 6, 2015
Okay, here's the scene: A man shuffles into his kitchen in slippers and bathrobe and peers into the fridge, thinking, "What is there for breakfast?" Then he spots it. Yes! BACON! He does a happy dance as he grabs the package and a carton of eggs and heads for the counter. Pans are set on the stove, he scrambles some eggs in a bowl, pops some bread in the toaster, rips open the package of bacon and horror fills his heart. In the bacon he sees a strange looking beetle inside! It is about ⅓ of an inch long and is black with a yellow band across its wings and several dark spots inside the yellow area. He drops the bacon and the creature scurries across the floor. Yup. You guessed it. That little bug is a larder beetle.
These beetles, which were named for their attraction to larders where they fed on cured meats, are household pests as well as commercial pests. Though their incidence has declined over the years, they are still common in homes, mills, livestock facilities, and any place that contains a food source for them.
How larder beetles can affect your home or business:
Larder beetles are known to feed on dead insects inside attics and wall voids. When they do this, they will then lay eggs there. When the eggs hatch, the larvae will feed on the insects as well, but they will also feed on feathers, skins, horns and dry pet food. They have even been known to infest the nests of squirrels and rats inside wall voids and attics. From there, they can move into almost any other area of a structure.
Destroying foods is bad enough, but the real damage from these pests occurs during larval feeding, and the boring of the larvae before pupation. Pupation is when the larvae go through their metamorphosis into the adult beetle. The larvae, which are about ½ an inch in length and densely covered in hairs, will bore into anything containing meat products, but they are also known to bore into structural timbers. Tests have shown that they can even bore into lead and tin! They do this to find a protected place for pupation to occur. So these creatures can really wreak some havoc upon a structure!
Signs of a larder beetle infestation:
If you find holes in food packaging, this is one possible sign you may have larder beetles.
If you look closely, you may be able to see the hairy larvae and their shed skins.
Thin fecal pellets, which are up to 3 mm long, are another sign.
So you've discovered larder beetles. What now?
Contact a professional. It can be challenging to find the source of a larder beetle infestation, and in order to eradicate these pests from your property, the application of specialty products is necessary. The experts here at Thomas Pest Services will do a thorough inspection and get rid of your problem safely and effectively. They will also work with you on preventing future infestations. Give Thomas a call today. Breakfast is better with bacon. Not larder beetles.