Like many other household pests, larder beetles are a considerable nuisance for homeowners. However, larder beetles can be a problem for many commercial businesses, too! Seeking out pantry and food items, larder beetles will invade your kitchen in search of a quick bite.
Read our article to understand more about these pantry pests and the best methods to keep them out of your home for good!
What is a Larder Beetle?
A larder beetle is a small insect, typically never growing larger than half an inch. They have dark brown or black shells separated by a long tan stripe that runs along the middle of their bodies. On this tan marking, you can count six small dots.
Here’s a video of the pesky beetle. See how quickly it can run!
While beetles are a common household pest in American homes, they exist worldwide. According to Texas A&M’s agriculture extension program, they may have originated from Europe or Asia, along with the hide beetle.
These pests have a relatively short life cycle, generally living around 60 days. Female beetles will hunt for a food source and lay 100 eggs near it. Some beetles can lay even more at one time.
In less than two weeks, the small larvae hatch and eventually change into adult forms. Some of the beetle larvae look strikingly similar to carpet beetle larvae, with their long, thin bodies and wiry hair.
A Larder Beetle’s Diet
The pest’s name directly correlates to its dietary choices. Before the adoption of refrigeration to store perishable food, larders housed many dairy and meat products in homes.
Here, many homeowners struggled with these pesky beetles invading their dried meat and cheese. While we now put these items in our tightly closed fridges, larder beetles will still eat away at the items in our pantry.
In addition to meat and dairy, the beetles will consume your bread, cereal, cookies, rice, noodles, and almost anything else in your cupboards. They will even crawl into your pet’s food to steal a snack.
Larder beetles aren’t picky eaters. Some species prey on other animal byproducts like furs, hides, and feathers. They can nibble on the pages of your favorite book or even fabric items like clothing and furniture. However, carpet beetles are more likely to eat the clothing in your closet.
Signs to Look Out For
To protect your food and possessions, keep an eye out for these signs of a larder beetle infestation.
Damage to Food Packaging
These beetles do not solely prey on unsecured food items. These pests can bore into anything contained in paper, cardboard, or plastic coverings.
Your bread and cereal may seem safe, but the beetles can bite through boxes to find their prize. Check your items for small holes or tears to see if larder beetles or other pests like rodents have chewed into your food.
Beetles in Your Food
While this may seem obvious, a good sign that you have a significant problem is the increased presence of insects. When you begin spotting larvae or adult beetles burrowing through your food, you have an infestation.
If you find beetles inside fruits, vegetables, or pantry items, it’s time to call a pest exterminator. Adult beetles deposit their eggs around food sources, and there could be more beetles hiding away or waiting to hatch.
Our Prevention Tips
Whether you want to ward off an infestation or cut back on the number of insects in your home, check out our advice to keep these pests out!
Place Food in Tough Containers
Food can’t hold up against pests when left in flimsy coverings. While sheer plastic wrappings and cardboard boxes keep your food contained on the store shelves, you sometimes need a heavy-duty solution for larder beetles.
Instead of sticking that cereal box in your pantry after returning from the store, place it in a hard plastic or glass container. Choose one that has a screwable or snap-on top to ensure the bugs can’t crawl in through any small openings.
Plus, it’s easy to miss a stray morsel when preparing lunch and dinner, but pantry beetles can easily find it! To prevent these pests from entering your home and invading your kitchen, try to frequently sweep your floors to catch any crumbs or forgotten foods. If you accidentally spill liquids (especially milk), quickly wipe them up.
Close Off Possible Entry Points
If you have any open cracks, crevices, or openings, beetles and other pests can crawl in and head straight toward your pantry.
Look around your home’s foundation for small gaps where pests may slip in. For small cracks, you can typically repair these with plaster, stucco, or caulk, but consult a professional for any extensive repairs your home may need.
Throw Away Infested Food
While it’s annoying and costly to throw away your groceries, especially newly purchased items, you shouldn’t keep anything infected with beetles.
The beetles can’t transmit dangerous diseases, so your food won’t become spoiled when they bore inside. However, they are still unsanitary bugs that may feed on decaying matter outdoors. It’s safer to toss any bug-riddled packages.
Removing this food will also prevent a larger infestation from taking hold. Because they lay eggs beside or inside food, more beetles can hatch and continue to reproduce in your pantry if the food is left alone.
Tossing out the food removes the adult beetles, prevents the larvae from maturing, and eliminates the possibility of a recurring infestation!
Call proof. Pest Control!
Because these pests often infest your pantry, it’s difficult to combat the beetle infestation without impacting your other food items. Some store-bought options are toxic and may make things unsuitable for consumption.
Our technicians can safely remove the pests and keep your kitchen safe! With our organic indoor pest control solutions, you won’t have to worry about any pest taking a bite out of your bread and cookies.
Contact us today for more information!