Red Legged Ham Beetles infest Dog Food!!!

Subject: Blue Bug
Location: Not sure
January 30, 2014 1:13 am
Hi there,
We import a dry dog food from Midwest US and with the last few containers we had a blue bug in the container. The container is transported via the Panama Canal from Pennsylvania – we wonder if it could have some from there.
I am sorry but my photos are not that good.. but here we go..
Image 1: dead, but you can see the legs
Image 2: dead, but you can get an idea of the size
Image 3: there are about 5-6 live ones in the bag with the dog food
Your help will be much appreciated
Signature: Not sure

Red Legged Ham Beetle
Red Legged Ham Beetle

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Red Legged Ham Beetle
Red Legged Ham Beetle

Hi there,
How will I know if you don’t have time to reply?
Thanks,
Malene

Red Legged Ham Beetles in Dog Food!!!
Red Legged Ham Beetles in Dog Food!!!

Dear Malene,
Thank you for your patience.  It appears you have an infestation of Red Legged Ham Beetles,
Necrobius rufipes.  Even though the photo is blurry, the red legs are very obvious in your second image.  According to Forensics Topics, a high profile occupation thanks to all the crime scene investigation shows on television:  “This beetle is small in size with a bluish/green metallic body. Notice the red leggs-hence [sic] the name. This beetle shows up during dryer stages of decomposition.”  We suspect that there are also larvae in the dog food.  According to BugGuide:  “found on dried fish, skins and bones of dead animals, and other carrion; also found on museum specimens” and “Eggs are laid on the food material; larvae pass through three or four instars; the last instar spins a cocoon in which pupation occurs; life-cycle takes 6 weeks or longer depending on food type and physical conditions. Under optimum conditions, the rate of population increase is about 25 times per month. The adults fly actively and can thus easily disperse to new sources of food.”

Thank you so much Daniel. Much appreciated.

17 thoughts on “Red Legged Ham Beetles infest Dog Food!!!”

  1. Hi,

    I have the same problem too and it seems like they moved into my kitchen now, any idea how to kill the beetle? Please help.

    Thanks

    Reply
  2. Hi,

    I have the same problem too and it seems like they moved into my kitchen now, any idea how to kill the beetle? Please help.

    Thanks

    Reply
  3. Same issue here in NJ and no one knows how to get rid of them. The dog food company said impossible to have it at the factory must be the distributor, now I see beetles in the kitchen in spite of cleaning thoroughly and no food available to them. Can you help on this?

    Reply
        • I don’t know why my yesterdays comment didn’t show up.
          I was desperate, they lived in my apartment for about 2 months. I moved to my mums place with my family for 7 days and sprayed whole house with some insecticide spray like Raid, I don’t remember name. We leave opened windows whole night, there was low temperature, about 5-6 degrees celsius and this bugs doesn’t like low temperature, below 15 Celsius. After 7 days they gone. I know what are you going through and wish you good luck with it.

          Reply
      • Remove everything, clean out every cabinet and leave nothing open and available. It take a 45 day life cycle or two to get rid of them!

        Reply
        • Hi Gina!
          Ah I see! That’s really helpful to know – we’ve already cleaned everything out & tossed any open dry foods when we found them, but hopefully we’re towards the end of their life cycle!! Haha thanks!!

          Reply
        • Hi Gina!
          Ah I see! That’s really helpful to know – we’ve already cleaned everything out & tossed any open dry foods when we found them, but hopefully we’re towards the end of their life cycle!! Haha thanks!!

          Reply
      • They lived at my house about 2-3 months, I was tottaly crazy. I sprayed kitchen and living room with some bug killer like Raid (I don’t remember name) and moved to my mums apartment for about 7 days. Sprayed every evening and leave windows wide open all night. I read somewhere they are some tropical bugs so they don’t stand low temperature, below 15 degrees celsius. It was pretty much cold these days, around 5-6 Celsius and I suppose this combination of low temperature and bug spray every day, 7 days in row, worked. Before that I throwed all food, dog food, my food, I even found them in salted sticks and some krackers, store everything in glass container, remove all food in my house. I was mad these days. Thank god I got rid of them.

        Reply
  4. I have same problem here in Croatia. Did you get rid of that bugs? I read articles, they are really invasive and is tough to get rid of them. I am really clean person so I am desperate about this situation. Please help!

    Reply

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