Larder beetles are large oval shaped insects that are usually black in color with yellow banded wings. They are member 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.
Following are the causes of Larder Beetle Infestation:
- The lack of refrigeration causes meat to rot and increases the chances of larder beetle infestation.
- Uncured meat also attracts these pests in large numbers, ham, bacon, and dried fish are main source of food.
- They are also found on pet foods which are stored in the attic.
- Unclean fur, hide, leather, feather, museum artefacts, taxidermy exhibits, and dried animal by-product are sources of infestation.
- Trapped dead insects that lodge inside wall crevices and attics provide food source for these pests. They have a fierce appetite for dead animal flesh and hair.
- Insects like flies, wasps, and bugs hibernate during winter causing them to die over time. These insects attract larder beetle to lay eggs on their rotting bodies and develop into infesting larvae.
Indicators of Larder Beetle Infestation:
- Larder beetles lodge in dark basements, hidden corners, and unused attics.
- These nocturnal pests search for potential food behind kitchen drawers, cupboards, and darker areas of the house. You will find them out in the night.
- Larder Beetles normally enter into the house through open doors, windows, and wall gaps.
- Upon close scrutiny you will discover infested items having holes. Larder beetle larvae shed their skin many times they will be found everywhere.
- Their thin faecal pellets which are up to 3mm long will be strewn around the household.
A list of Home Remedies to get rid of Larder Beetles
1. Inspection & Cleaning
A thorough inspection of the house will lead you to the source of the larder beetle infestation. If the infestation is on a small scale cleaning the area and sprinkling diatomaceous earth will eliminate the pests. It is generally difficult to manage a huge pantry. Cleaning it up as you go out will solve the problem. Rinse the dishes and throw the leftovers into the garbage bin before sleeping. Keep the sink area clean by wiping it regularly with a damp cloth. Larder beetles are largely attracted to kitchens and dining area. Deep cleaning your space will nullify the pest problem.
Vacuuming is a good method for removal of larder beetles. Food debris lodged into the kitchen cabinets can be easily cleaned. Animal hide and fiber rugs must be vacuumed on a regular basis to avoid infestation. Storing unused shoes and clothes in totes or plastic bags will prevent larder beetles to get attracted into your house.
3. Larder Beetle Trap
Laying larder beetle traps around the area of infestation will ward off the adult beetles. If the infestation appears to be in more than one space, then lay several traps throughout the house.
Sticky traps are also a great way to detect larder beetles, place these traps near furniture, sinks, and near rugs. Monitor the space for a few days and if you have a few bugs trapped, you may be dealing with an infestation.
4. Keep Pet Space Clean
Pets normally drag food all around the house before consuming it. It is important to vacuum the pet area and under the furniture’s on a regular basis. Bird cage have droppings and food items cleaning it often will prevent larder beetles to hatch around your living space.
5. Fit Screens around the House
Larder beetles are overwinter pests and get inside the house through exposed doors and windows. Hence it is necessary to add screens over your entry points to fix the pest problem all year through. A weather-stripping on the door can be considered for more protection.
6. Seal Cracks
Cracks and dents on the wall invite plenty of insects. Sealing them with spray foam insulation will be of help. It will also keep other pests like rodents and squirrels away from making nests inside your house. These pests sometimes are the major reason for a larder beetle outbreak. An alternative cheap method is using silicone and latex caulk for sealing gaps in the house and areas such as bathrooms. A popular product known as topping mix is beneficial for sealing cracks in the foundation.
7. Use sealed cans for food
Storing food in air tight containers will keep them fresh and bug-free. Glass jars are a good option to store all the pantry items. Pet food can be stored in well-built trash cans.
Plastic containers are ideal as well for storing food, larder beetles do not chew through plastic. Although it’s environmentally toxic, plastic can be a quick solution to deal with storage problems.
8. Reduce Clutter in and Around Your Home
Larder beetles require organic material to live in. By reducing the number of cluttered items around the house you create a bug-free zone. Piles of woods used for the fireplace can be stored in a well dry place. Destroy the debris accumulated around the backyard and garden. Keep the pests away by reducing the junk within your vicinity.
9. Using Commercial Insecticides
Usage of pesticides or insecticides must be the last resort. Spraying a lot of harmful chemicals all over the house is not recommended. Organic options like borax powder are natural solution for a house with pets and children.
It is necessary to notice the type of infestation, small bugs generally imply that the infestation could be fresh, while adults mean the beetles have been in your home for quite some time.
10. Discard the Damaged Items
Damaged items contain eggs and larvae hence it’s advisable to dispose them away in trash or destroy them completely by burning. Slightly damaged items must be thoroughly treated with chemical spray.
It is expensive to throw out pantry items every time there is an infestation. It is necessary to pay minute attention and treat the pest problem immediately. Avoid hoarding in your pantry space, buy things according to priority. Above all always strive for a sealed and clean home to keep larder beetle infestation under control.
Some Precautions to Prevent Infestation of Larder Beetles
- Never invest in cheap low-grade glass bottles, larvae from the beetles can bore through thin metals
- Deep clean the kitchen along with spraying every nook and creak to remove any larvae that have been laid
- Schedule a pest control service every few months to prevent any pests such as larder beetles from invading
- Summer months are when female larder beetles lay their eggs the most, ensure you clean rooms and kitchen daily during these months
- Since larder beetles feed on dead insects, get rid of all form of pests to eradicate their numbers, overall keep a pest-free home
- Attics and crawlspaces need to be monitored for rodents and bird nests, these creatures can trigger an infestation of larder beetles