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Dermestid Beetle
(John Obermeyer, Purdue University)
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Common Name: Dermestid Beetle

Order: Coleoptera

Family: Dermestidae


Pest Status: Dermestid beetles are very valuable in nature, because they help decompose dead carcasses and decaying organic matter. However, when they get into foods or inside homes, they can become serious pests.

Appearance: Adults are about 1/4-inch long and are covered with hairs or scales that are usually brown or black, or patterned, and they vary in shape from elongated to oval.

Life Cycle: Eggs hatch within two weeks; larvae develop over five or six instars before pupating. The pupal stage usually lasts less than two weeks.

Where to Collect: Dermestid beetles are scavengers, so they can be found wherever there is rotting animal matter. However, dermestids can also be found in pantries feeding on cereal products, pet food, spices, and other dried foods.