Larder Beetles: an unusual problem

Howard | 22 June 2015


Last week we got a call out to a flat where the tenant kept finding these beetles all through the flat from kitchen to bathroom and bedrooms. I identified them as a species of Dermestes beetle probably Dermestes ater though a friend with a microscope had a look at their "bits" and thinks Dermestes haemorrhoidalis is a better fit (but lets face it; you would not want to admit suffering from haemorroidalis to a friend)  Both are known as the black larder beetle and usually live on carrion. The larvae are quite different and look very like silverfish of different sizes.














A thorough search of the flat, including looking above ceilings and ripping up all the floors failed to identify a source. What was clear though was that the beetles had swapped from their usual diet of dead mice and birds nests and had taken to a diet of jammy dodgers and chocolate sweets which were liberally scattered in drawers, under furniture and down the back of the sofa !!



Picture of the sofa, cusions removed







Together with a thorough treatment the tenant now faces having to wash every item of her clothing as no treatment of clothes is advisable even with modern extra safe insecticides.

A timely reminder that regular cleaning is the best defence against pests ever discovered.

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