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What Are Dermestid Beetles?

If you’re concerned about these insects, this article will answer the questions “What are dermestid beetles?” and provide an overview of their life cycle, food sources, and identification. Learn how to recognize these pests so you can prevent their damage and avoid the need to worry about them in your home. These beetles live in your garden, woods, and on your crops.

Dermestid beetles

Although the species is most commonly found outdoors, dermestid beetles can also infest buildings. Their main food sources are grain and seeds, and you may find them in the pantry and kitchen. Although these insects may be found in buildings anywhere, their presence is often associated with the presence of food caches created by rodents. However, you may be able to prevent infestations by reducing clutter.

The larva of the Dermestid beetle will go through seven or eight molting cycles before becoming an adult. It will develop for another week before developing into a fully-fledged adult beetle. Adults can live up to two months. They can live much longer than that, but you should prevent them from entering your home if possible. These pests are difficult to control.

Life cycle

The dermestid beetle is a grain pest and a common nuisance around the home. This species is classified into sub-families, including carpet, hide and larder, and Khapra beetles. Their life cycle is five to seven weeks and includes a period during which they feed on plant and animal material. Male dermestids secrete pheromones through a gland in the base of their abdomen to attract females. The female dermestid beetles lay eggs in the cracks of the matter they are feeding on, and these eggs can be laid continuously.

In Colorado, dermestid beetles are found throughout the state, and most species are confined to food and debris in buildings. However, large dermestid beetles are typically found in abandoned birds and insect nests. Dermestid beetles are capable of damaging fur and woolen items. They are also able to feed on dead insects. 

Food sources

Although dermestid beetles get most of their moisture from food, they can benefit from supplemental moisture. You can add extra moisture to their food by misting it with water and placing it nearby. However, be careful not to overdo the misting, as it can encourage mold growth. Diets with 15% to 40% moisture content are ideal for dermestid larvae.

The larvae of dermestid beetles feed primarily on animal protein. Flour, grains, and dried nuts are good sources. While some dermestid species also feed on pollen and silk. These pests are particularly common in cultivated areas. But even if their numbers are low, their presence in a particular location does not mean their population is under-recognized.

Because dermestid beetles are related to Carrion beetles, they tend to be harmful to various dried meats, furs, and dried fish. The larvae of these beetles are also often highly damaging, so keep an eye out for them. If you suspect your home is infested, keep an eye out for the following signs: unexplained holes in natural fiber fabrics and fecal matter.

Identification

Dermestid beetles are small, dark insects that develop through four life stages: the egg, the larva, the pupa, and the adult. Dermestid beetles are primarily active during the spring when they emerge from hibernation to begin their larval stage. They lay between two and four dozen eggs over a month, and the discarded larval skin accumulates around infested materials.

Often, dermestid beetles are found indoors. They are commonly found in carpets, pantry crumbs, and other areas where food is stored. They are also found on walls and stored in woolen items. To eliminate them, place a sticky trap on a horizontal surface and let it collect mature larvae. The sticky trap can be used to identify infested materials and identify the source of the infestation.

Dermestid larvae feed on a variety of plant and animal proteins. They are common pests of grain, silk, and leather goods and can damage museums and collections. Moreover, they feed on dead insects and bird carcasses. Although their main food source is dry animal matter, they are also pests of plants with high protein. For these reasons, they are important in forensic entomology.

Russell Wilson

Hi, I am Russell Wilson; I am an entrepreneur, father, mentor, and adventurer passionate about life. At this moment, I am working with depression and anxiety.

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