What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Small Brown bug with white/yellow stripe
January 21, 2010
We have been finding these bugs in our kitchen and family room area. The bugs look like a beetle type, they are small dark brown almost black, with a white or yellow band on their backs. We normally find them in the morning laying on their backs on the hardwood floor. I want to spray for these and I am fearful that they are wood eaters. We live in a timber frame home from the early 1970s.
Jeffrey Feiler
South Central Pennsylvania

Larder Beetles

Dear Jeffrey,
Your wooden house is safe, but you are sharing your food.  It is time to clean out the pantry and search for the source of your Larder Beetle, Dermestes lardarius, infestation.  According to BugGuide, this cosmopolitan species will eat food stuff and museum specimens.  You may also need to check your trophy stag heads hanging above the fireplace or the bearskin rug on the floor in the den.  Generally, you need to find the source of the infestation to rid yourself of pantry beetles and general extermination is just a waste of money as it cannot target the source, especially if the Larder Beetles are in edible foods.  You should also check that bargain bag of dog food.

Thank you so much for the help. I thought they didn’t look like wood eaters, but we just moved down to PA from NH. Up there you had just mosquitoes and black flies (which ate my flesh and blood alot). Nothing else survived the winters for the most part. Southern PA has a zillion bugs, especially the annoying STINK BUG which I am convinced will survive nuclear holocaust, those things are more hearty then roaches.
Thanks Again,
Jeffrey Feiler

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22 Responses to Larder Beetles

  1. Synesthesia says:

    I was wondering what those things are… I’m overdue for spring cleaning.

  2. cheapskate863 says:

    I really must disagree with you on not eating the wood part….I just found the bar in my kitchen is infested with them and have holes bored everywhere!!!

    I am fearful that I am going to have to rip it out to get rid of them, a shame too as it is a custom made bar!

  3. Danny says:

    The pix looks like the bug I been seeing but I find them in the dirty clothes

  4. Becky says:

    I have found these bugs here and there around my house. They are usually already dead though and never have I found one in my kitchen. I have found them in a tote full of clothes for Goodwill and in my laundry room as well as my bathroom. Honestly I have never found them on the main level in our house (a split level).

  5. Patricia says:

    I thought they might be carpet beetles, because that’s where I found them: in the carpet fibers around my cat litter box. But they look like like these photos, especially the one with the penny. Except the larvae don’t look hairy…

  6. Mary Closs says:

    To find these bugs in my home, & recently in my big bag of dog food, I had to.toss it,are these bugs dangerous to my pet’s??? Also, does this mean that somewhere in my home is the home to them,where I will find the bigger problem?.Is there a spray I can use? HELP!!!!!!!!!!

    • bugman says:

      Spraying will not help because you would need to spray things that are being eaten by you and your pets. Larder Beetles are not dangerous, but they do ruin stored foods.

    • libbie says:

      I had these bugs in my kitchen a few years back. I had been told that my roach control method of 1 part boric acid and 2 parts cocoa would work on them, too. I did find that they like cardboard and chocolate. So, I put all my food stuffs in glass and /or plastic containers that could be sealed. I made up a batch of boric acid and cocoa, and put it in an old mayonnaise jar lid. I then placed it where food could not be contaminated by it and no pets or children could get into it ( under the cook stove or the refrigerator works well). I still keep my food stuff in plastic or glass containers, but I haven’t had problems from them in a long time.
      I am told that with roaches, the boric acid makes them sterile so they can’t reproduce. So, I was banking on the same being true for the larder beetles.

  7. Sue says:

    I had the same thing happen and before I knew it I found they had also invaded my kitchen cabinets. They were so bad that they were even burrowed into the wood of my custom made cabinets, I had to tear them out and install new cabinets. It took me over a year before I finally stopped finding them. I HATE THEM WITH A PASSION!!!!

  8. Taysmilesxo says:

    Ughh… I’ve found them in my house and they make my skin crawl…. I usually just drown them in anything I have…. All I have to say is its Operation kill all =]

  9. kelsey says:

    I just moved into an apartment building…. And have started seeing them spararically I moved in April and I have seen about 5 so far aways on the floor near dirty clothes one on the windowsill behinds my bed on its back in the morning? …… I haven’t encountered any in my food and I haven’t found any together or a swarm of them…… Idk what to do tho I’ve searched my apartment and don’t see a home for them could they be coming from another apartment or through my door? Really want to get rid of them please help!

    • bugman says:

      If you have Larder Beetles, they must be infesting some stored food product. Do you have any large bags of pet food lying about?

  10. Kelli says:

    I’ve only ever found these in one particular bottom kitchen cabinet where I store my plastic containers and some glass dishes. I just pulled out all the plastic containers to throw away mismatches, and found a bunch of dead ones (about 10). No idea where they come from.

  11. Jaimie says:

    Can Larder Beetles have 4 spots? I realized one was dead on our living room floor I’ve only seen one but realized a hole in my book but can find no other bugs besides the one.

  12. Kayse says:

    I have found them in my living room and bathroom could they be living in my couch I moved my couch and found shells and larva of them underneath would it help to vaccum out my couch

  13. Sean G in ME says:

    found these near our 4 childrens beds eating snack wrappers….no food no scavengers….

  14. Anna says:

    I have these bugs in piles of cloths in my room do I need a professional ?

    • bugman says:

      Only if you are not capable of cleaning out your own pantry. An exterminator will not help unless you locate the source of the infestation, generally stored foods including bargain bags of pet food.

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