Larder beetle

Larder beetle

Name: Dermestes Lardarius

Alias: Larder beetle, or moisture bug. This mildly annoying pests can be found inside of a home throughout the year, and are usually found feeding on protein such as cheese, grains, or dog food. Adults have a long oval shaped body and are banded with black on the outside and a lighter tan color on the inside, similar to an Oreo or a Hampshire pig. The lighter band always has six distinct dark spots, three on each side. Larvae look similar to a hairy caterpillar or silversfish. They prefer to overwinter in warm dark places such as inside of a house. They can have very large broods, and populations can increase quickly when food sources are plentiful.

Crimes: Larder beetles biggest crime is consuming food meant for human use. They occupy flour containers, dog food bags, and other dry foods that have not been sealed properly. They are relatively harmless, other than the “ew” factor you get when you find them. They are not steril, and usually indicate contamination from other bacterias and pathogens as well.

Redeeming qualities: None known.

Sentence: Exclusion is the best method. Be sure to clean up any spills and to seal food in a proper container when storing. It is generally not recommended to use insecticides on larder beetles, although insecticides can be effective. The reason being is because they are usually in a confined area where humans occupy. With small infestations they can be simply vacuumed up and the surface which they occupy can be cleaned with a cleaner of choice. With heavier infestations, an insecticide that is labeled for indoor use can be used, but be sure to follow the label instructions very closely.

For more information on dangerous and beneficial bugs, call UI Extension educator Joseph Sagers at 208-270-4031 or email jsagers@uidaho.edu.

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