Friday, May 6, 2011

Bacon Beetle

Bacon Beetles or Larder Beetles (Dermestes lardarius) are common beetles associated with humans and our dwellings. These are small beetles measuring little more than 1/4 of an inch up to 3/8 of an inch. They are banded black with a golden colored middle stripe with black speckling.  They invade our food stores, especially grains, and are also fond of taxidermy specimens. Museums spend a great amount of money and time keeping these  beetles out of their preserved displays.

They are not native to the United States, but were accidentally introduced from Europe and the Near East. Some taxidermists use these beetles to clean meat and skin from bones. These beetles are easy to keep as a hobby insect, just provide them with water, a place to hide and food. They will eat almost anything, including grains, carrion and pet foods.

The one pictured here was found crawling on the ceiling in my bedroom. Later in the week I found an additional one crawling on the bathroom floor. It would be a nightmare to get these started in our house, as my husband and son are both hunters and have mounted specimens of their hunts. These beetles would feed on those prize trophies and destroy them in no time, much to the horror of my husband and son. Once started in a home they are difficult to get rid of. They will hide almost anywhere and thrive by eating nearly anything they can find. I hope I found the only two sneaky little beetles, brave enough to enter where they aren't wanted.


  1. This must have been the criiter that got in my great uncles collection. I waited over 30 years for his moose only to be told his widow had tossed them all because of an infestation.

  2. Sounds like some kind of beetles got to your Uncles Moose, and that is so unfortunate. These beetles can sure wreck havoc on precious keepsakes.

  3. I do not have taxidermy specimens in my home. I have an infestation of these beetles, and have no idea how to get rid of them. My kids are constantly killing them. We do not live like pigs, and I cannot understand why we have bugs. If you have any ideas about how to get these things OUT let me know please. I hate bugs and with finding 3-4 a day I am getting grossed out. We live in northern Michigan. Are these common house hold pests here?

  4. Omg, I've been trying to find out what kind of bugs these were that I keep finding in my house; thanks for the article! My mon said they were just water bugs, as I live on a river in New York State, but I never see them outside--they're always inside, especially in the kitchen or anywhere that food's been left around, and I'm sick of them! They';re disgusting to look at and I hate all bugs except spiders, since spiders eat lots of bugs. Then a guest visited, saw one, and since she knows a lot about animals I asked if she knew what it was, and she immediately said Oh those are Bacon Bugs! Yeah, they'll eat anything, even your furniture! I thought she was just kidding, so I googled it, and nope!