Larder beetle
Dermestes lardarius L.


Secondary pest: Grain feeder and scavenger
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Dermestidae
Acronym: DLA


  • Adults are 7 to 9 mm long and covered with dense hairs.
  • Pattern on the elytra is distinctive: a wavy pale buff band with 3 black spots across the top half of the elytra.
  • Adult's underside is covered in grey hairs.
  • Larvae are yellow brown and cylindrical, covered with dense hairs.
  • Larvae reach a length of 20 mm at maturity.

Similar species

  • Other species of Dermestidae may be morphologically similar but the pattern on the elytra is distinctive

Commodities affected

  • Feeds on feathers, skins, hair, ham, bacon, dried and processed meats, decayed meat, cheese, wool
  • Feeds on museum specimens, dried insects, stuffed birds
  • Is a scavenger on dead insects/animals in stored grain
  • May feed on vegetable products with high protein

Signs of infestation

  • Presence of cast skins
  • Holes bored by larvae


  • Larder beetle causes damage to skins, hides and other materials by burrowing into them
  • Infested commodities are contaminated with cast skins, faeces and insect bodies
  • Mature larvae are able to bore into wood or plaster, causing weakening of structures

How to control

Geographic range

  • Is found worldwide
  • Is widely distributed in Canada

Where found

  • Is frequently found in granaries, grain elevators, warehouses and dwellings
  • May be serious pests in the poultry industry
  • Is a common household pest

Life history

  • Adults are attracted to lights and fly readily.
  • Females lay eggs singly or in batches amongst the foodstuff.
  • Larvae move actively through the food source.


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Did you know?

The larder beetle bores into solid materials such as wood, mortar or soft metal, to pupate, which can damage storage buildings or containers.