- Size: About 7 to 9 mm long
- Color: Brown with a white part on the back with black spots
- Distinctive Feature: Hairy larvae
- Habitat: Animal-based products, dry foods
- Detection Element: Hairy larvae in animal-based products, small holes in foods, adults often found near windows.
Appearance of Larder Beetle
The Larder Beetle has distinctive features that facilitate its identification. As an adult, it measures between 7 and 9 mm long. Its color varies from dark brown to black, with a rear part often covered in yellow or white hairs, creating a distinctive pattern. Its head is usually hidden under its pronotum, the part that covers the thorax, and its antennae end in three enlarged segments, forming a sort of club. The larvae, meanwhile, are hairy, brown to yellowish in color, with two spikes at the end of their abdomen.
Habitat of Larder Beetle
The Larder Beetle is often found in environments where it can feed on dry animal materials. This includes kitchens, pantries, food warehouses, and places where animal-based products like wool, silk, or skins are stored. They are also common in bird nests, abandoned beehives, and museums where they can attack animal specimens. In urban settings, their presence is often associated with infestation problems related to stored products or animal debris.
Behavior of Larder Beetle
Larder Beetles are known for their ability to feed on a wide variety of dry animal materials, including dried meat, cheeses, skins, and feathers. Their life cycle includes several stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Females lay their eggs on a suitable food substrate, where larvae emerge and feed. The larvae’s behavior is particularly destructive, as they can attack various products and cause considerable damage. Adults are also capable of flying, allowing them to disperse easily in search of new feeding and breeding sites.
Distinguishing the Larder Beetle from Other Insects
The Red Flour Beetle is distinguished from the Larder Beetle by its uniformly reddish-brown color and smaller size, usually between 3 and 4 mm. Unlike the Larder Beetle, the Red Flour Beetle does not have visible hairs on its body. It prefers grain-based products, such as flour and pasta, and is less likely to be found in animal-based products. Its antennae gradually taper to a conical shape, unlike the clubbed structure of the Larder Beetle.
The Grain Beetle is easily recognizable by its flattened body and long notches on the sides of its thorax, a feature that the Larder Beetle lacks. It measures between 2.5 and 3 mm long and has a dark brown color. This pest primarily targets grains and dry foods, such as rice and cereals, unlike the Larder Beetle, which feeds on dry animal materials.
The Brown Lyctus Beetle is mainly differentiated by its diet and habitat. This beetle, measuring between 2.5 and 7 mm, feeds on wood, particularly softwood or wood containing a certain amount of starch. Its color varies from light brown to reddish-brown. Unlike the Larder Beetle, the Brown Lyctus Beetle is not found in foods but rather in lumber, furniture, and wood structures.
The Rice Weevil is recognizable by its dark brown or blackish body and its long rostrum (head extension) which is lacking in the Larder Beetle. It measures about 2 to 3 mm long. This weevil primarily attacks whole grains, like rice and wheat, distinguishing it from the Larder Beetle, which feeds on dry animal materials. Moreover, the Rice Weevil has a more rounded and compact form compared to the more elongated form of the Larder Beetle.