Putting an end to an infestation
of larder beetles
Ending an infestation of bacon dermestes
In Quebec, there are more than twenty insects from the dermestid family. Bacon dermeste is one of them. It’s found all over the world.
It’s infesting our food supplies. It has a preference for foods that contain:
- animal proteins.
Worse, it digs tunnels in our books, woods, tiles, pipes, materials, etc., thus weakening our homes.
Its larval hair and exuvia cause some skin irritations and allergies.
What do you recognize as a bacon dermeste? What is its life cycle? How can you prevent it from attacking you massively? How do you get rid of it if it invades you? Why is it better to hire a professional exterminator to take care of it? How do I identify one?
These are all questions that Animal Alert provides professional answers to.
|Nom français||Dermeste du lard|
|Nom anglais||Larder Beetle, Bacon Beetle|
|Nom latin||Dermestes lardarius|
Description of the dermestre: what does this insect look like?
The bacon dermeste is an insect of the order of the beetles and the dermestid family. The male and female are almost identical. The bacon dermeste can be recognized:
- Its oval body, relatively flat and hairy, dark brown or black,
- At his two short club-shaped antennae attached to his head,
- With the black spots near the pronotum,the part of the chest that hides its head,
- With a wide band of small yellowish, greyish or whitish hairs that pass through the elytra. This band has in its center 6 black dots (three per elytra) of varying shape and size,
- To its two wings that hide under the elytra and allow it to fly,
- At its length ranging from 6 to 9 mm.
Reproduction and life cycle
Bacon dermeste is a holometaboleinvertebrate. It undergoes a complete metamorphosis: the egg, the larva, the nymph, and the adult.
It mates in the spring or early summer. It then enters the dwellings, looking for suitable places for its reproduction. After absorbing protein-rich foods, the female lays, in groups of 6 to 8, 100 to 200 banana-shaped eggs. It places them directly on food destined for or near larvae.
If the bacon dermeste is found in favourable conditions inside buildings, it goes from egg to adult in 40 days. The female can spawn five or six generations per year.
In a dozen days, the larva comes out of the egg. It then begins to eat and takes on the appearance that characterizes it: a body of about 13 mm covered with long hairs, a light brown hue, and at the end of the abdomen, two small curved spines.
The male larva will pass through 5 moults before becoming an adult. The female, she will go through 6 moults. Once mature, the larva will turn into a nymph. During this stage, the blulpest is immobile and is an easy prey for its predators. To ensure its safety, it sinks into food or moves to a safe place.
Two weeks after its transformation into a nymph, the bacon dermest will become an adult.
He lives more than a year when conditions are favourable to him.
Invasion of bacon dermests: harmful?
When outside the dwellings, the bacon dermeste overwinters in the cracks in tree bark.
Once inside our buildings, the bacon dermeste invades:
- our attics,
- our pantry,
- our warehouses or shops, chicken coops,
- bird’s nests,
- The dog’s niche,
- bee hives …
- and even museums by feeding on naturalized animals, skeletons, old books and old papers.
Not dangerous to human health
Bacon dermeste is not harmful to human health. It doesn’t sting or bite. It does not transmit diseases. On the other hand, its hair can cause allergies and skin irritations in some people without seriousness.
But it harms perishable foodstuffs
Where bacon dermestes really hurts is when it attacks our reserves of foods that contain fat, oil and animal protein.
He particularly likes:
- The fish,
It also feeds on:
- animal corpses,
- collections of poorly protected insects,
- pollen from flowers.
Larvae are the most voracious. In addition to devouring our food supplies and being cannibals, they dig small tunnels in:
- The pipes,
- The woods,
- The tiles,
to take shelter there, causing a great deal of damage in their path.
Leather and fur tanners, taxidermists, meat and fish traders are just a few of the professions most affected by these pests.
If it can’t find anything else, bacon dermeste feeds on plant-based substances. It can stay several weeks without eating.
Interesting fact: the adult can simulate death by folding his paws on his body.
9 Tips to Prevent Bacon Dermestes Infestation
By following these tips, you will prevent the bacon’s dermestes from attacking you massively:
- Install mosquito nets in windows, keep your doors closed, and plug cracks,
- Place thin mesh on the hatches and vents,
- Put your food and pet food in tightly sealed containers,
- Vacuum to get rid of insect corpses, dead skin, hair and hair that you lose every day,
- Carefully inspect your home to dispose of dead animals,
- Clean your kitchen thoroughly. Pay particular attention to the residual fat found on the sides and back of the stoves.
- Before you bring them back inside, carefully inspect the bouquets of flowers collected from your garden.
- Carefully inspect insect collections as well as naturalized animals. Take advantage of the winter to leave them outside once a year. But you can also put them in a freezer.
- Make sure the hood is clean. Make sure its ducts do not contain wasp or bird nests.
If the bacon dermestes have already invaded you and you find small dead skins on your food, it is better to call in a professional exterminator to get rid of them. The near immobility of the nymphs of these insects and their ability to hide makes them difficult to find and exterminate.
Professional exterminator solutions
The bacon dermest exterminator will conduct a thorough inspection of the site to identify the sources of the infestation. It will then burn them, freeze them or use insecticides such as diatom soil, boric acid. It will then caulk the holes and passages. It will also clean everything from floor to ceiling, or ask you to call in a housekeeper.
Beware, there are many amateurs in this trade. Know how to recognize a truly professional exterminator. The latter can be recognized by:
- His permit from the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development marked C5: Extermination
- Its certified professional technicians in extermination
- He worked methodically: first, he quickly landed at the scene of the invasion. It then identifies the sources of aggression,measures the significance, and offers you the appropriate treatment.
After the treatment, it informs you about the precautions to be taken to avoid in the future the massive attack of the dermestes of the bacon.
- It uses unidentified vehicles and remains discreet in all interventions.
- He offers you a written guarantee on the effectiveness of his treatment against theinvasion of bacon dermestes.
- It knows how to choose insecticides suitable for your infestation and makes it a safe use. Rest assured: if he has a permit from the Quebec Ministry of Sustainable Development, it means that he is paying attention to all of this.
And have you, the bacon dermestes ever assailed your food supply? Did you manage to get rid of it? If so, how? Tell us in the comments below.