Larder beetle bites, Life cycle, Removal, Traps

| August 28, 2017

Learn all about larder beetle bites, life cycle, removal, and traps. Larder beetles were named for their attraction to larders where they fed on cured meats. While this situation is not common today, larder beetles can still be found in homes, attacking a variety food sources.

Larder beetles are large oval-shaped insects that are usually black in color with yellow banded wings. They are the members of the dermestid pest family. A female beetle normally lays eggs during spring and summer. The larva lodges itself inside the rotting meat. They develop into an adult beetle usually after two to three months. Not known to harm humans, they are found on decomposing meat, pet food, and other exposed food items.

These overwinter pests are found in living and work spaces all over the U.S., Europe, and Canada. Black larder beetles can turn out to be a nuisance during the cold season hence getting rid of them is indispensable.

Larder beetles can potentially infest certain types of stored food products, although this is not commonly seen. They can infest dry pet food and render it inedible. Larder beetles can be potentially destructive to preserved animal specimens. When larder beetles infest dead insects, animals or birds in voids or attics, they are primarily considered as nuisances.

Indoors, larder beetles are considered a nuisance. However, they have the potential to be economically important pests. Although not very common, larvae are capable of causing structural damage by boring repeatedly to pupate. Even though adults are capable of biting, they are generally not harmful to humans or pets.

All sources of infestation should be removed and disposed of, taking care not to spread the infestation. Routine surveillance and regular cleaning are important. Metal proofing strips provide physical barriers that can be built into structures to restrict migrating larvae reaching pupation sites in the fabric of buildings.

Larder beetle bites, Lifecycle, Removal, Traps

Larder beetle Bites

Larder beetles are not known to bite or sting people. These pests can contaminate dried meat, pet food and other products they like to feed on. Larder beetles are members of a larger group called Dermestidae which usually eat the dead animal or plant material. Indoors larder beetles are known to burrow through wood or plaster. So they definitely can bite and cut. They usually don’t go after living animals so we say they don’t bite but if you try and sit on one, it will defend itself and biting is an option.

We have never read of a toxin-producing member of this group so unless you get an allergic reaction, you should be fine. Any cut or bite has the possibility of infection of course so washing and possibly an antibiotic cream and band-aid would be warranted if you want. If it gets red, swollen or painful, go see your doctor.

Larder beetle Life Cycle

Larder beetles overwinter as adults in protected places. In spring adults are attracted to areas that have suitable food. Female layover 100 eggs, which take about two weeks to hatch. Larvae will feed for 40-50 days on high protein food before pupating (transforming) into adult beetles.

The total larder beetle life cycle takes about two months. When larvae are searching for a place to pupate they have a habit of boring into the wood and other hard materials. One reason larvae seek such protected sites is to avoid cannibalism during the pupation period. Larvae can easily chew through paper, light plastic, cork, and tin, or into foam insulation. Structural problems have occurred in poultry and mink operations that have undisturbed, protein-rich food sources.

Larder beetle Removal

Larder beetles can be reduced by number of overwintering insects by treating them in the fall before they get inside. Their management is a two-step process. First, seal cracks and spaces around your home that may allow insects to enter. Second, apply a residual insecticide around the exterior of your building. These insecticides must be seasonally timed to provide protection before the overwintering insects become a major problem. A reputable pest control service can also be hired to treat a home for overwintering insects.

Larder beetle Traps

Larder beetles glue trap which uses sexual pheromones as attractants and is set out where you either have activity or suspect activity. Emerging adults will find the trap, enter and get stuck on the glue catching them before they are able to mate and lay eggs. Sticky traps are also a great way to detect larder beetles, place these traps near furniture, sinks, and rugs. Monitor the space for a few days and if you have a few bugs trapped, you may be dealing with an infestation.

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