The larder beetle measuring 6 to 9 mm long and has two short club-shaped antennae. This winged beetle is dark brown or black, with a broad yellowish band across the first pair of wings. This yellow band is spotted with six different sized and shaped spots (three on each wing).
The female lays up to 200 eggs 6 times per year, and the incubation lasts over 12 days. In ideal conditions, the larder beetle goes from egg to adult in only 40 days.
Habitat and Food
Often the larder beetle can be found inside the home in the attic, walls and inside roofs, behind the stove or in the range hood as well as in the pantry. As its name suggests, the larder beetle enjoys food containing animal fat. This may include cooked meats, dried meats, ham, bacon, sausages, fish, cheese, animal skins, feathers, beeswax, dead rodents, grease and cooking oils, dry pet food and a variety of live or dead insects.
The larder beetle can invade food and cause damage to various materials in the house. These damages are mainly caused by the larvae, choosing hard surfaces such as wooden structures, pipes, textiles, mortar, tiles and paper products, as shelter to undergo metamorphosis.
Signs of Infestation
Old molts (cast skins) and fragments of adult beetles in food is an indication of an infestation of larder beetles.
Preparation Steps for a Treatment
- Empty all kitchen cabinets and drawers, including crockery and food. Place food in the refrigerator and the rest on a table. Make sure you take everything off of the kitchen counter.
- Plan to leave your home for the duration of the treatment and return only after 4 hours. Wherever possible, open windows for 20 minutes upon your return. It is also important to not walk barefoot on treated areas for 48 hours after treatment.