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Elimination

In warehouses, infestations in stored products often start with the beetles feeding on dead insects in storage areas. So it is important to apply good hygiene measures to eliminate sources of infestation. It is also recommended you install a monitoring network of glue and pheromone traps and check the traps regularly.

If you have a warehouse beetle problem at home, you should check your food to see if it’s infested. All food should be put in airtight containers to avoid further contamination. It’s also a good idea to vacuum cracks and crevices in the pantry to eliminate any food residues and insects. Then throw out the vacuum bag to prevent the insects from multiplying. Lastly, apply Maheu&Maheu Crawling Insect Killer or Maheu&Maheu Insecticide Dust in cracks and crevices in the pantry and adjacent areas. Before treating with an insecticide, make sure you remove all food from the pantry.

Actions

  • Put all food in sealed containers
  • Vacuum pantries and under appliances (empty receptacle/dispose of bag)
  • Spray or treat the perimeter of the kitchen with an insecticide as well as cracks and crevices in pantries

Prevention

  • Store food in sealed containers

Description and development

Warehouse beetles (Trogoderma variable Ballion ) are holometabolous insects in the dermestid family (Dermestidae ) of the order Coleoptera. The adult is a dark brown, oval insect with a pattern on the elytra and very fine, thin grayish pubescence. The antenna resemble a spindle-shaped club that narrows toward the tip. Adults measure about 3 to 4 mm, whereas the larvae can reach up to 6 mm long. At start of their development, the larvae are whitish but become dark brown at maturity.
The warehouse beetle life cycle can vary considerably in length, depending on conditions. Under favorable temperature and humidity conditions, its entire life cycle, i.e., egg to adult, lasts an average of 43 days.

The female lays 30 to 100 eggs, deposited in food, and the eggs hatch one or two weeks later. Under favorable conditions, the larvae molt about 6 times. Because of their structure and abundance, dermestid hairs can be a source of irritation for sensitive people who come into contact with or ingest them.

Habits

It appears that the ancestors of this species fed on dead insects and other animals. However, over the years they started feeding on plant products as well.

Because of its voracious appetite, the warehouse beetle is now considered to be one of the most harmful stored food pests. It attacks many types of foodstuffs, including broccoli, cantaloupe, and carrot seeds, cake mixes, pasta, cookies, flour, cereal, rice, dried foods, candies, peanuts, and even dry dog food.
Still today, warehouse beetles are found feeding on dead insects and other animals. Larvae have even been observed eating dead warehouse beetle adults. Old rodent bait can also be a food source for these insects.

Unlike other species of dermestids, the warehouse beetle is a good flyer and can easily move about. Specimens have been collected as high as 10.5 m (35 ft.) in the air.

Warehouse beetles are attracted by light and are often found on window sills and skylights. Electric light traps have been found to be very effective as a monitoring tool in warehouses.

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