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Larder beetle (Dermestes lardarius)


The larder beetle grows to a maximum length of 9 mm. The wing cases are basically black, but show a yellow-brown colouring on their front halves as well as three black spots on each side. The larvae are up to 15 mm long, are more slender towards the posterior end and are thickly covered with hairs. The pupae are found for instance in wood, mortar and wall bricks. The beetle can fly. In addition to human habitations, leather and fur stores, meat processing operations, warehouses etc. it is also found outdoors, especially on cadavers and in birds' nests. Other larder beetle species, such as the uniformly brown to black-coloured hide beetle (Dermestes maculatus), are similar in habitus and damage to the larder beetle.


The larvae of the larder beetle ruin foodstuffs such as bacon, ham, sausage, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, etc. by feeding and with their faeces. They also destroy hides, leather and woollen textiles by scraping and eating holes in them.