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Elimination

In the event of a Larder Beetle infestation, the first areas to check are those where dust, animal fur, and food residues can accumulate (behind and under appliances, for example), because the insects consume animal fiber (protein). If only adults are found, local application of Maheu&Maheu Crawling Insect Killer around room perimeters and door and window frames should be enough, seeing as the insects are getting in from outside.

If larvae are found, you will also need to use Maheu&Maheu Insecticide Dust behind power outlet and switch cover plates and around pipes and electrical wiring where they enter walls. More serious infestations require intervention in the attic area where the Larder Beetle finds its main source of food—the Cluster Fly—which makes its way into our homes in fall and spends the winter indoors. Spray the same insecticide dust into the attic, preferably with an electric sprayer. That way you can be sure the powder, which is very volatile, will cover every inch and corner of the attic. It is also strongly recommended you apply crawling insect killer under the insulation near pipes and wiring that descend into the house.

Actions

  • Vacuum everywhere (empty receptacle/dispose of bag)
(P)Spray or treat room perimeters with an insecticide wherever insects have been found
  • Apply insecticide dust to structural voids and roof spaces if larvae are present

Prevention

  • Add screens to attic vents
  • Seal the outsides of windows, doors, eaves, chimneys, etc. as completely as possible

Description and development

The Larder Beetle belongs to the Dermestidae family of beetles. It is dark brown or black as an adult with a yellowish stripe across its back showing six dark spots. It is about 8 mm (1/3”) long. As a larva, it is shaped like a little brown, slightly fuzzy worm 3 to 5 mm in length with two distinctive-looking hooks at the rear. These hooks, which are called urogomphi, are what allow us to tell the various Dermestidae species apart. The Larder Beetle’s life cycle runs six weeks. There can be two generations of Dermestidae per year. Each adult female lays some 50 banana-shaped eggs. After six to eleven days, the eggs hatch and a small larva emerges from each. During its development, the larva will shed its skin four or five times, enter a period of rest, then complete its transformation into an adult.

Habits

The larval stage of the Larder Beetle is the most harmful to homeowners. The larvae, once they have completed their development, move about at random through cracks, openings, and fixtures until they occupy every room of the house. They are very common in newly built houses. Like the larvae, adults feed off foods rich in protein—dried meat, ham, fresh pork, bacon, dried fish, cake, cheese, as well as dead insects (mainly cluster flies and lady beetles), rodents, and birds in attics and roof spaces.

Tips

To avoid a repeat of the problem in subsequent years, you must prevent flies, lady beetles, and other insects from getting into the house before winter. One way to do this is by putting screens on air vents and soffits and by sealing unnecessary openings. Certain measures can also be taken around the outside of the house to prevent insects from getting in. These are handled by our technicians.

Dead insects are excellent breeding sites and choice food sources for young Dermestidae larvae, so keep a close eye on the roof area or attic, as the case may be. These are often spots where flies and other insects make their way in.

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