hide or leather beetle is similar in shape to the larder beetle except
the wing covers are entirely dark and the body underside is mostly white.
larvae are longer than adult beetles (up to 1/2 inch), slender, densely
covered with short and long hairs and reddish-brown to black, with two
spines on top near the tail end. Larder beetle larvae spines curve backward,
hide or leather beetle larvae spines curve forward, and black larder or
incinerator beetle larvae spines extend backward and are not strongly
curved. (see pictures below).
courtesy of Jim Kalisch University of Nebraska.
hide or leather beetles and larvae prefer to feed on raw skins and hides.
Females may each lay up to 800 eggs. The life cycle is completed in 60
to 70 days. These larvae have a habit of boring into wood and other hard
materials to pupate. Sometimes structural timbers may be damaged.
Mature larvae of hide beetles have the habit of boring into various hard
surfaces to pupate, usually preferring softwoods. Some may climb 24 to
36 feet and bore into posts, studs and rafters seriously weakening and
"honeycombing" these structures. Larvae are especially troublesome in
poultry houses, damaging yellow pine, foam insulation.
methods of commercial slaughtering, meat storage and meat distribution
have reduced potential infestations of hide beetles. The presence of this
insect in the home may indicate a dead rodent between the walls, in the
roof-space or the chimney. Be sure to eliminate bird nests, clean light
globes of dead insects, remove dead rodents from traps, check dry dog
and cat food stored for long periods of time, and caulk all openings where
beetles might enter when attracted to lights. Flies such as the cluster
fly and face fly, abundant in the autumn, hibernate in home wall voids,
attics, overhangs, etc. Many die in inaccessible places and become a prime
food source for larder beetles. Store susceptible foods in insect-proof
containers of glass, aluminium or steel, ideally with screw-type lids,
or store in a refrigerator. Larvae have been known to bore through lead
and tin materials for pupation. Routinely inspect stuffed animals and
even old wax combs where honey bees have died out. These beetles will
infest museum collections of insects, animals, etc., if not properly preserved.
it is often difficult to locate the source of infestation due to the
migration habits of these insects, spot treat only to crack and crevice
sites where they are suspected of hiding. Larvae often appear scattered
throughout a building far from the original food source. They may be
in a wall void or attic where dead insects (flies) or rodents provide
a food source. Pyrethrins are labelled for hide beetles. Many insecticides
labelled for carpet beetles will give control. Only the licensed pest
control operator or applicator can apply fumigants. Before using any
insecticide, read the label, follow directions and safety precautions.
use of smoke generators in the roof-space will serve to eliminate some
of the problem (see Cluster Fly page).
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