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Beetle - house pest - can't get rid of them!! - Dermestes lardarius

Beetle - house pest - can't get rid of them!! - Dermestes lardarius
Londonderry, NH, New Hampshire, USA
March 26, 2006
Size: 1/4 inch, length
These buggers are showing up all over my house. I have two parrots, and started to notice them around the food that the birds drop - they like to hide under the newspapers, and in corners of rooms, etc. I've noticed them in many other rooms in the house as well, 1/2 of the time, dead.
They can fly, but I've only seen it happen twice, over a 6 month period. I also found their larva as well, but that stage didn't seem to last very long. Please help me get rid of these pests.

Dermestes lardarius
I have a lot of these! Would it possibly come from my cold storage where I keep potatoes, onions and canned food?

dry rot

I have these guys in my home
I have these guys in my home in alaska and they really creep me out.Do you think they live in my walls?

To have a number of adults in your house
means that a female laid her eggs in your house on some food source, the eggs hatched, the hairy little larvae gobbled up the food, they pupated, and they emerged as adult beetles. Making sure your house is clean as a whistle is the best way to keep them away. That means cleaning under your refrigerator and stove, putting opened pet food in sealed containers, keeping boxes and bags of food in your cupboards and pantry shut tightly, cleaning up any kitchen, cupboard, or pantry spills right away, sweeping your kitchen floor daily. These little guys are not called Larder Beetles for nothing. Starve them!

Dermestes Lardarius
I have these things too.They don't bug you too badly.I'd say cleaning a house just doesn't seem to cut it they come back in full tilt again anyway.I never kill them[Since i keep them to clean bug enclosures and such.]But i'm sure if you were really worried you could bug bomb your house but i don't think that would work too well.It might help to get an expert spray your house.

Dermestes lardarius
I started finding these beetles 3 months ago everything i try to get rid of them doesnt work. I find them in washing. Cupboards under things were its dark ive even found them on the sofa. If any one knows how to get rid of them please HELP!

I think I may have these bugs in my apartment. I keep on seeing them underneath clothes that are on the floor and around boxes. I don't have any pets so I'm wondering if they are even larder beetles. They are very small black bugs with a thin brown stripe across the back. And they make a crunching noise when I squish them. Please let me know what kind of bug it is and how can I get rid of them!

The best way to discourage them
is to do a thorough housecleaning, including under and behind refrigerator and stove where food crumbs could accumulate. Some dermestids will dine on wool. (Do you have wool rugs?) Tiny human skin flakes and human hairs are other favorite foods of dermestid beetles and these can accumulate in rugs and carpets. Vacuum and shampoo any carpets and have any rugs professionally cleaned.

What a pest!
I thought it was interesting that most of us that have this beetle problem live in the same area. I'm in Manchester NH and they make me crazy. Does anyone know if they are harmless? I hate having them here but somehow I would feel better knowing that they are not damaging my house too! Any good ways to get rid of them? My problem started last summer...I was hoping that in the winter they would just phase out but no such luck spring is here and so are they. If you have any thoughts I would be interested in hearing them.


Good Luck
They're harmless in the sense that they don't bite or sting, harbor diseases, or damage structures. But there is the yuck factor when they start appearing in large numbers. You might notice their skins in unsealed food like dry noodles or cereal. They are transparent husks that look a lot like the larvae (same size and segmentation lines). I bought a burlap bag of rice and shortly after noticed that the bag was just crawling with tiny larvae. I think that's where they came from, but they moved on to infest everything in the pantry that had ever been opened. I discarded everything, vacuumed the cupboards, and wiped them down with Lysol. Now everything has to go in sealed containers. Vigorous vacuuming and keeping all food hermetically sealed (cardboard boxes will not do) eliminates them, but if the kids leave crumbs somewhere and I don't notice right away, suddenly they're all over again, so I know they're hiding out somewhere. I just don't know where. I have a log home, so I know it's not in the walls.

Chances are they aren't dead!
I have larder beetles too, grrr! I thought I was finding them dead also, till I walked away from what a thought was a dead one the other day, and when i got back to pick it up with a kleenex it was running away!? The lil buggers play dead!! God knows how many have craweled out of my garbage can. So now i know loll, i crush em good when i find em, dead or not!

Dermestid beetle
Larder beetle, Dermestes lardarius, found in foods of animal origin, skins and fur. Usually carcasses. Perhaps check the living quarters of your birds? Got an old fur coat you forgot about?

The vacuum cleaner
is probably their worst enemy. Make sure there are no accumulations of bird food under baseboard heaters, etc.

I have yet to find D. lardarius on a carcass, although other dermestid beetles abound there. I most often find them in/around houses with pets.

btw, welcome to bugguide. I live two towns over from you in Nashua :-)

Thanks for the help guys!

Nashua, heh.. yep, you're pretty close!

Are there any pet-friendly traps made to "collect" these?

I once had an infestation of a certain type of moth, that came from a bag a parrot seeds. I guess they somehow bore a hole in sunflower seeds, and lay their egg(s)? in there, or the larva does it, not sure... Anyway, the manufacturer or the bird seeds knew exactly what they were and sent me these pheromone sticky traps you can hang from the wall or such. Those worked great!

Is there anything like that which will attract and trap these suckers? It's impossible to keep my parrots area free of food droppings. I'd need to do it 2-3 times a day, which isn't feasible. These thing are showing up all over the house, in rooms with 0 food, etc.

I found a few around a window we had opened. They were on the outside of the screen. Not sure if they were ones that were originally inside and got out, or where ones that were outside, trying to get in. ;)

Take care.

On a side note... I really hope the tree frogs come back this year. Have an inground pool, and they think it's their mating ground. I used to live down in Salem, and they came back every year. Loud little guys. I collect as many as I can find, then relocate them to a nearby pond. The have the most amazing orange colors on parts of their hide legs. Only seen them during one season here in Londonderry. Been here 3 years, I think.

I also raised around 50-100 of them in a small aquarium (at work!), from eggs collected in my pool, and let them go when they turned into froglets.

I know of no traps or lures.
Short of fumigation, I guess you're stuck vacuuming three times daily ;-)

Here's an idea: get another pet -- a gekko that has free roam of the house.

Good idea
but I wouldn't say D. lardarius is particularly fast.

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