The larder beetle had long been categorized as a significant insect pest to cured meats within the United States, Canada and Europe. This species’ preference for cured meats led to larder beetle infestations within homes, meat plants and structures where meat was stored, but the advent of refrigeration and the consequent lack of home-cured meats largely put an end to the economic damage caused by larder beetle infestations. However, nuisance larder beetle infestations within homes and buildings are still common today in many areas of the world. This is because homes and certain buildings, such as museums, mills and livestock structures, still contain food sources that attract larder beetles. Larder beetles enter homes in large number in order to access and feed on dead insect corpses and even grain products stored within pantries.

During the fall and early winter, numerous insects and arachnids of various species gravitate into homes in order secure warm shelter. Most of these invading insects fail to overwinter and die before the arrival of the spring season. This causes insect and arachnid corpses to pile up in certain obscured areas of a home, such as in attics and within walls. Once the spring season arrives, larder beetles invade homes in order to access these dead insects. Unfortunately, larder beetle infestations can become difficult to control, as the beetles lay their eggs on the corpses of insects that gather within homes. These insect corpses provide larder beetle larvae with an abundant food source upon hatching.

During the summer months, female larder beetles will lay 100 eggs within a home. Once larvae emerge to feed on the dead insects, they may move onto infesting a home’s pantry in order to feed on stored meat and grain products. The beetles are capable of boring through any type of packaging material in an effort to access food. One study showed that these beetles can even bore through lead, and they have been found boring through structural woods as well. Larder beetle infestations are common in Massachusetts homes and they normally require professional attention in order to be eradicated.

Have you ever found insects infesting food products stored within your home?