The larder beetle is a small, dark-colored beetle with white and black markings. This beetle is a member of the carpet beetle family Dermestidae; however, the larder beetle, Dermestes lardarius can feed on a great variety of materials-not just carpets. They will feed on any stored animal or plant products, such as leather, insect, bird, and mammal specimens, cured meats, cheese, tobacco, and dried fish meal.
the life cycle of this insect is regulated by the seasons; indoors it may breed continuously throughout the year. Eggs are laid in batches of 6-8, with the total per female being about 200. The larvae are dark colored and covered with dark brown hairs. The larvae pass through five or six stages during the 35 to 80 days of their lives. The larvae have a strong tendency to remain in dark places. Just before the larvae pupate they begin to migrate, and are often encountered by homeowners at this time. These older larvae often bore into materials such as wood, cork, or insulation looking for a place to pupate. The pupal period lasts about 15 days. The adults mate soon after emerging and eggs are laid near a food source.
The larder beetle will feed on any stored animal or plant products, even non-food items such as leather or museum specimens.
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