| Larder and Cabinet Beetles
There is a large group of beetles we refer to them as dermestids. These beetles feed on both animal matter, such as dried skins, hair, meat, dead insects or woolens, and plant matter, such as cereals, grains, seeds, dried plants, dried fruits and cheese. Therefore, you may find these beetles feeding on your stored woolens, or they may be feeding on stored food in your kitchen cupboards.
The larder beetle is easily distinguished from all
other dermestid beetles. The adult is 7-9 mm 5/16 inch) long, with an elongate-oval body.It is basically black; however, there is a wide transverse olive brown band across the middle of back. There are six black spots within this brown band.
The adult beetles can live for periods of up to a
year. In unheated areas, they spend the winter in the adult stage. The adults mate and lay eggs after they have fed on protein rich food. The eggs are laid directly on the food source. At room temperature in the home, the larvae will feed for about two months before they are ready to pupate. At that time they will leave the food and search for a sheltered place in which to transform into the pupal stage. If natural crevices are not available they frequently bore into cork, wood, mortar and styrofoam for protection during pupation. Soon thereafter, the adult beetle emerges.
Occasionally only the larvae of this beetle may be
found. The larvae of this species can be distinguished from the other dermestid beetle larvae by the presence of two downwardly curved spines at the tip end of the abdomen. The larvae may grow to 8-10 mm (3/8 inch) long and are generally a dark brown on the upper surface.
The larder beetles require animal matter to develop
to maturity. In Michigan homes today, it is most often associated with dried dog food. This material is basically cereal, but contains enough meat and bone meal and animal fat to allow development of the larder beetle. They also infest cured meats, cheese, beeswax, fish, furs, and stuffed animals. They may also be associated with the presence of a dead rodent, bat or bird trapped between walls or in chimneys, heating ducts or crawl spaces, or accumulations of dried insects in windows or lamp globes.
Prevention and Control of Larder Beetle Infestations
Because the larder beetle can be found in the
kitchen and other food storage areas, a thorough search through your stored food is the first step in locating the source of infestation. Check for the beetles or larvae in dog food, home cured meat, hams, bacon and cheese. Also, make certain that no animal carrion or dead insects are present - remove all rodents from traps, remove all bird nests and empty lamp globes of dead insects. Place all susceptible food items in insect-proof containers. After the source of the problem has been
found, clean the area thoroughly with a vacuum cleaner and then soapy water. Remember, the larvae leave the food just before they pupate and may be hidden in cracks and crevices.
The cabinet beetles are pests of granaries, flour
mills, food-packaging plants and warehouses and may be brought into homes via infested grain, seed or flour products. They are known to infest cereals, dried plant products, cocoa, corn meal, milk powder, dried soups, wheat, rice, seeds, dried insects and woolens. The larger cabinet beetle, Trogoderma inclusum LeConte, is an oval, blackish beetle mottled with reddish-brown, brown and grayish scales. The larva is worm-like and covered
with short yellowish hairs, including a short tuft at the tip of the abdomen.
Integrated Larder and Cabinet Beetle Management
For a complete listing of suggested control options for all home, yard and garden insect pests contact your local Extension Service, found under local government in the phone book.
Read and follow instructions on the pesticide label.
Heed all warnings. Check with your physician if you have any concerns regarding your personal health risk.