Has your stored food been attacked before, especially during the summer months? If your answer is yes, then you’re most likely having a larder beetle infestation.
Not to worry, there are several solutions to this problem. In this article, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of larder beetles for good.
Stay with me.
Understanding Larder Beetles
Having a clear understanding of these bugs will help you get rid of them when they infest your home.
They are big, oval-shaped insects that grow to about 9 mm long at full maturity. Black is the major color of these bugs, although they have a yellow stripe across their wing covers, which makes them easily recognizable.
Larder beetles are a pest of several food products, including cured meat. When they are gathered in large numbers, they can cause very serious damage.
Unlike powderpost beetles, it is very rare to see larder beetles damaging home support structures, as they prefer to attack food.
How Did I Get Larder Beetles?
Larder beetles can creep into your home through wall cracks and open doors, mainly during the late summer and fall season. This is so because they need to escape the cold weather which could kill them.
They can spend all winter near sources of food, so you can expect to find them at the kitchen pantry.
Larder beetles do not bite humans, neither do they spread diseases. However, their presence is very unsanitary, so they have to be gotten rid of.
Larder beetles don’t bite humans or spread disease, but their presence is bothersome and unsanitary.
How To Get Rid Of Larder Beetles
If you have larder beetle infestation, then follow these steps to get rid of them.
Step 1 – Check For Signs Of Infestation
If you suspect that there might be larder beetles in your home, then do some further investigation before you decide on what extermination measures to take.
Keep an eye out for signs of infestation, which include fecal pellets, shed skin from hairy larvae, and holes in items.
If you come across any of these se signs, you can sure you’re under attack by larder beetles.
If you have bird nests in your attics, then you should check them out too, same as cracks in the walls and any other crawl spaces.
Step 2 – Discard Any Infested Packages
After discovering their presence in your home, the next step is to get rid of any infested packages you find around your kitchen. These include boxes or bags of grain.
When those have been carefully disposed of, you should vacuum the empty storage shelves before you store any more food there. Doing this will scoop up as many larder beetles still hanging around as possible.
A quick tip here is to stop your food in tightly sealed containers. Rubber or plastic containers are your best bet, since larder beetles cannot bore through them.
Step 3 – Vacuum Other Areas Of The House
If you store pet food, or you’re the type who’s fond of eating at different areas of the house, then you need to vacuum the rest of the home. One area you should concentrate on is the out-house, which may also have stored food.
Doing a thorough vacuum of these areas will ensure every bit of food dropping will be picked up.
Step 4 – Use Pesticides
Cleaning the shelves and vacuuming the floors might not be enough, as a few cunny larder beetles may hide away and survive the cleaning.
You can use commercial insecticides/pesticides to ensure not one of them gets out alive.
Yes I know, you have food stored in these spaces so using commercial insecticides sounds like a harmful idea. However, there are organic insecticides available in the market.
Diatomaceous earth and borax are two good examples of organically made pesticides that kill larder beetles and prevents them from returning.
You can apply these pesticides around the floors and corners of your kitchen cabinet and around other spaces where you store food. You can also apply some in-between wall cracks and crevices, just in case they are hiding there.
This is a good natural solution to larder beetle infestation. The great news is, it isn’t harmful to humans or pets, it just kills the beetles.
Step 5 – Seal The Cracks In Your Home
It isn’t strange to find that many home structures have cracks in them. The crack are access points that allow larder beetles and other pests gain entry into your home.
You need to seal off these spaces to reduce the occurrence of larder beetles. This doesn’t cost much, you just need to dedicate some time to doing it, or hire someone else will.
Start by identifying all the gaps and cracks in your home so you’d know the kinds of sealants you will be needing.
Spray foam insulation can be used to seal off small cracks where these bugs creep through. You can find it at pretty much every home improvement or hardware store in your neighborhood.
You can also use a sand and cement mixture to seal off wall cracks that act as pass ways or hiding spaces for larder beetles.
Besides denying access to larder beetles, another advantage of sealing cracks is that you’ll be saving money of both your cooling and heating systems, since room temperature will be better contained.
You can use silicone and latex caulk to seal small cracks too. They are very cheap and can be painted over cracks in less than 30 minutes. It mixes well with traditional paint too, so if you’re sealing a visible spot, you can mix it with the already existing color of the wall.
For concrete foundations with cracks, I recommend you use topping mix to seal it off. A simple cement, sand, and water mixture can also seal of cracks in your fences and outer walls.
Patch up as many cracks as you find, allow them to dry, then paint over them to blend in with the color of the structure.
Step 6 – Use Screens
Homes that don’t have good window or door screens will be vulnerable to pest attacks. You should also install good screens around your vents to keep the bugs out.
Vents are cheap to install, so the cost shouldn’t bother you so much, especially for the advantages that they offer.
If you have bird cages, then make sure you clean them as often as you can. This is because larder beetles will not hesitate to attack the bird feed scattered all over the cage floor and its immediate surroundings.
You also need to keep other pet areas clean. Cats for instance are fond of dragging their food out of the plate before they eat it. If such spaces are left unattended to, then you’d be inviting larder beetles and other pests into your home.
Vacuum such areas as much as you can.
How To Get Rid Of Larder Beetles In The Bedroom
Larder beetles are more notorious for attacking food stores, but they can still attack wood or fabric in some situations.
One of such situations is when it’s time for larvae to pupate. In this instance, they can bore into different materials around your bedroom.
Such materials include food items, fur or other clothing, books, mattress, and couch.
Follow these steps to remove them from your bedroom.
Step 1 – Check For Infested Spots
First thing to do is to identify exactly where the beetles have infested. Take a thorough look around your bedroom and mark out the infested areas.
Be sure to look under your mattress and other hidden corners, as that is where they will most likely be hiding.
Step 2 – Discard Damaged Items
If you find that their pupating spot is inside one of your pillows or books, then dispose of them.
They are already damaged and you can easily replace items like pillows or mattresses, so there’s no need keeping them and running the risk of further larder beetle infestation.
Step 3 – Vacuum All Over Your Bedroom
After disposing of the infested items, the next step would be to do a thorough vacuum of your bedroom floors, wardrobes, cabinets, mattress, pillows, and any other surfaces around the room.
Doing so will help pick up all the remaining larder beetles that didn’t go out with the infested items.
You can do another round of vacuuming the following day just to be sure there are no survivors.
Step 4 – Use Organic Pesticides
You can apply diatomaceous earth around the bedroom to kill any left over larder beetles and prevent others from returning.
DE isn’t harmful to humans.
Step 5 – Block Possible Entry Points
You may be wondering how these bugs made their way into your bedroom. Most likely through cracks in your wall.
Seal off the cracks and make sure you install screens on your windows to keep the pests out.
Larder beetles do not bite humans, but they infest food and make are ghastly to look at, especially when in large numbers.
I hope these tips on how to get rid of larder beetles will come in handy.