The Larder beetle (Dermestes lardarius, commonly known as the larder beetle or moisture bug) is a common insect in homes all over the world. In Quebec, it is given the affectionate nickname of “humidity bug”. It particularly appreciates places inhabited by humans or animals. It finds, in fact, a quantity of animal proteins, which constitute the largest part of its diet.

MEven if it is not dangerous for health, its presence is most undesirable. It can cause allergies and mild skin irritations. Its larvae also cause serious damage to homes. As in all cases of insect infestation, it is therefore particularly useful to know how to recognize and eradicate it.

What is a larder beetle and how do you recognize it?

The dermest larder is a beetle from the Dermestidae family. It is an omnivorous insect and scavenger .

black and light brown larder beetle commonly seen throughout Québec

What does the larder beetle feed on?

In homes and businesses, larder beetles mainly attacks food reserves. But he also appreciates all animal products such as fur and leather. It can wreak havoc among bound books, stuffed animals or bones in museums. The larva does not just devour the food reserves. They also dig tunnels in books and fabrics, but also in wood, tiles and other building materials. It can therefore seriously damage the structure of buildings.

How do you recognize the larder beetle?

The larder beetle is a small beetle, 8 mm long on average. Its body, in the shape of an elongated oval, is quite flat and hairy. Most of the body is a dark brown close to black. On the top of the elytra, there is a pale brown, yellowish or whitish band, marked with six black dots of irregular shape. Under these elytra are hidden wings which allow the larder beetle to fly. The antennae, very short, are club-shaped.

The larva, on the other hand, have an elongated, ringed body, with an average length of 13 mm. Light brown in color, it is covered with long hairs. Two small curved spikes are present at the back of its body.

How to prevent a larder beetle infestation?

It is impossible to protect yourself completely from a larder beetle infestation. However, certain measures make it possible to reduce the risks. Here are some simple tips to follow, so that your home or business does not become a restaurant for pesky Dermestes lardarius!

Keep larder beetles from entering your living or workspace as much as possible!

The larder beetle can live fine outside dwellings. It can even survive the winter by protecting itself under the bark of some trees. But he is likely to try to return home in search of food!

To avoid this, it is recommended to:

  1. seal all air intakes and other ventilation openings using a fine mesh,
  2. you can also put mosquito nets on the windows,
  3. make sure all joints are watertight, and check for any cracks,
  4. finally check the absence of insects in the plants that you bring inside.

Do not offer food sources to moisture bugs!

The larder beetle is particularly fond of food reserves. As its name suggests, it readily feeds on dried meat. But it attacks more generally all types of meat and fish. They also likes cheese, and snack on cat and dog food. So be sure to keep all your food in tightly closed containers!

This insect can also be attracted to:

  • dead skin,
  • hair and hair,
  • dead insects …

Vacuum furniture and cabinets regularly to remove all of these food sources. Finally, the bacon dermeste appreciates the fat. Thoroughly clean your kitchen, especially your stove, range hood and fryer.

Be careful if you have stuffed animals or insect collections. It is advisable to expose them regularly to the cold, in order to destroy any larvae that may have settled there.

What to do in case of a larder beetle infestation?

In the event of an infestation, it is necessary to react as quickly as possible. In fact, the larder beetle reproduces very quickly. The number of insects, and in particular destructive larvae, can therefore increase exponentially. If you notice the presence of small dead bug skin laying around do not wait to call an expert in extermination like Exterminateurs Associés! Indeed, the small size of the insect and its ability to hide make it difficult to find. The larvae are known to be particularly discreet.

A professional pest management company will carefully inspect your home. Eliminating all insects and larvae using chemical agents that meet the standards of Health Canada. The pest control technician will then carry out a professional “bug” cleaning of your entire building. It will also be necessary to block all possible entries to the home. This will help prevent any new infestation of insects.

Make sure you call on an extermination expert, and not to an amateur. This would risk properly eradicating all the larvae and active beetles left around from the infestation and basically leave you in a situation to have to begin the entire process again.