Key Facts About Dermestes Beetle
Dermestes Beetles are occasional pests of households where they feed on a wide variety of animal protein-based products.
The three of the most common species of Dermestes Beetle are the Hide Beetle (Dermestes maculatus), Larder Beetle (Dermestes lardarius), and Black Larder Beetles (Dermestes ater). All three belong to the insect family called Dermestidae, and are related to Carpet Beetles, a more common group of indoor insect pests.
Although very common in Scotland, Hide Beetles and Larder Beetles are thought to have originated in Eurasia; while the Black Larder Beetle is believed to be indigenous to North America.
Dermestes Beetles feed on a wide variety of animal protein-based products and are serious pests in silkworm production and in museums. Common food sources include leather goods, hides, skins, dried fish, pet-food, bacon, cheese, and feathers. Household infestations are sometimes attributed to the presence of bird or rodent carcasses, old wasp nests, or accumulations of dead insects.
Dermestes Beetle may possibly feed on plant material of high protein content, but this is not a preferred food source. When the Larder Beetle are present in granaries and warehouses containing cacao, dried fruit, they are probably feeding on the bodies of other insects associated with these stored products.
Mature Dermestes larvae also bore into hard substrates such as wood, cork, tobacco, and plaster to pupate. The Hide Beetle is sometimes used by museums for cleaning bones and skulls.
Significance of Controlling Dermestes Beetle Activity
Dermestes Beetle are a serious pest in commercial and domestic kitchens, particularly around food cupboards, cookers and refrigerators. They are also a significant pest in poultry houses and piggeries.
Their occurrence in kitchens is usually associated with poor hygiene that allows them to breed successfully on food scraps. The adult Dermestes Beetles fly readily, and are attracted at night to illuminated windows, creating new infestations in the kitchens of flats, and staff canteens on the upper floors of high-rise buildings.
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