Larder Beetle—Dermestes lardarius

The larder beetle is a very common and widespread household insect pest. Its name comes from the fact that it was usually found in dried, cured meats stored at room temperature prior to refrigeration. Today larder beetles may be a pest in stored food and other items of high protein content. Outdoors, larder beetles are valuable "recyclers" that play an important role in the breakdown and recycling of animal protein.

adult larder beetle
Adults and larvae feed on fur, hair, feathers and pet food. The most likely source is dead insects that have accumulated inside walls or attics.

Adult beetles are about ¼ inch long. They are roundly oval and dark brown to black with a characteristic light colored band running across the body, containing 6 dark spots.

larder beetle larva
Larder beetle larvae are up to ½ inch long. They are tapered in shape and covered with sparse, stiff hair.

Click on images to view full-size

Identification and Control Information

[Photos, left to right: Joseph Berger,; unknown; unknown]