This guide reveals the small black house bug with brown stripe on its middle that you come across in your kitchen and home.
You’ll learn how and why these bugs enter your home, the damages they cause, and how to get rid of them without insecticides.
And a lot more. Keep reading.
Small Black House Bug With Brown Stripe – Revealed!
The tiny black bug with a brown stripe on the middle of its body is a larder beetle.
Larder beetles are pantry pests and fabric pests targeting stored food products and natural fabrics.
They’re omnivores. So, their diet includes both stored food grains and meat too.
A matured larder beetle grows up to 1/4 to 1/3 inches in size. They’re oval-shaped.
An adult larder beetle is black and has a broad light brown stripe on its thorax. The brown stripe also has six black dots.
It has two pairs of wings attached to its thorax, making the larder beetle a strong flier.
It has six legs and a pair of long antennae. The wing pads are visible by the clear distinction that runs in the middle of its back.
Life Cycle Of Larder Beetles
Adult larder beetles mate and lay eggs starting from the spring.
Outdoors, these beetles will lay eggs in the animal carcasses, dead insects and rodents, and inside the bird nests.
The larvae that hatch out of these eggs feed on the carcasses, feathers, and droppings of nestlings in the bird’s nest.
The adult larder beetles lay eggs in these places to ensure that their larvae have a constant food supply.
The female larder beetle can lay up to 100 eggs. The eggs take 12-13 days to hatch.
The larder beetle larva looks like a worm. It’s blackish or dark brown and has hairy bristles on its body.
The larvae feed on the food source where they’re born. And they remain in the larval stage for 40-50 days.
After that, the larvae move into the pupae stage.
It’s the stage when the larvae build a cocoon around themselves and remains inside for 10-12 days before emerging out as adults.
When searching for a place to pupate, the larva will bore into wood, insulation, or even inside book bindings.
The larder beetle completes its lifecycle within 70 days from hatching out of the egg.
The larvae of larder beetles cause maximum damage inside your home.
You’ll find out later in the post what damages they cause.
For now, let’s find out how the larder beetle infestation begins.
Larder Beetle Infestation In Homes
Larder beetles fly inside your home, looking for a place to lay eggs. And they prefer to lay eggs on the food source of their larvae.
So, they’ll sneak inside your kitchen and kitchen pantry and target the stored food, especially foods rich in protein like cheese and cured meat.
But they’ll not shy away from laying their eggs in stored grains like cereals, flour, beans, and lentils.
The adult larder beetles have strong mouthparts.
That enables them to chew through jars and food storage containers made of thin plastic and cardboard.
They’ll feed on the stored food in these jars and lay eggs on the food.
Their preference for protein-rich food sources also makes natural fabrics like wool, silk, leather, fur, and feathers prime targets.
Both the adult larder beetles and their larvae feed on them.
So, they can also lay eggs in your closet or wardrobe if you’ve got clothes made of these fabrics stored in these places.
Woolen carpets, blankets, rugs, clothes made of silk and wool, taxidermies, and fur coats are at the risk of damage from larder beetles and their larvae.
So, larder beetles are damaging closet pests.
Larder beetle infestation occurs when too many adult larder beetles invade and hide in your home.
And they can also get inside rooms like bedrooms and laundry rooms to hide.
The infestation gets from bad to worse if there are other dead bugs in your home.
Many bugs like boxelder bugs, cluster flies, kissing bugs, wasps, and stink bugs sneak inside during the winter months to overwinter.
They hide in the cracks and crevices on the walls, floors, and places like the attic and basement.
Many of them also die in these places.
The larder beetles in your home will find these dead bugs and lay eggs on them.
So, the larder beetle infestation in your home can spread from anywhere, not just from your kitchen.
Signs Of Larder Beetle Infestation And Damages
There are two signs of larder beetle infestation –
- Sightings of adult larder beetles and their larvae
- Damages on the products and fabric made of natural fabric like wool, silk, fur, etc.
Sightings of multiple larder beetles in your home are a telltale sign of larder beetle infestation.
But if you see only one larder beetle, that doesn’t mean an infestation.
It can be a precursor to an infestation if you don’t act fast.
However, if you see larvae of larder beetles, then it’s a clear sign that there are more.
Sightings of larvae indicate that there are more eggs in your home. And they’ll hatch to produce more larvae.
The larvae will cause damage if you don’t get rid of them.
Another sign of larder beetle infestation is damage to products made of animal matter.
The larvae will chew on carpets, rugs, leather upholstery furniture, and even on wool, silk, and fur clothes.
Those damages are irreversible.
Additionally, the larvae will feed on the stored food where the adult larder beetles lay their eggs.
The food will turn stale. You’ll notice the larva’s fecal deposits on the stored food too.
How To Get Rid Of Larder Beetles?
The best ways to get rid of larder beetles in your home are by thorough inspection, cleaning, removing their food source, and discarding infested items.
You can get rid of larder beetles without using insecticide or pesticide spray.
But the challenge lies in finding the food source of these beetles. And eliminating them.
Unless you do that and stop the adults from entering your home, larder beetles infestation will resurface again.
So, here are the four steps to get rid of larder beetles.
#1 – Do A Thorough Inspection Of Your Home To Find The Larder Beetles
Inspect places like stored food in your kitchen, pet food, and items that larder beetles infest.
So, you’ll also need to inspect your closet, wardrobe, and dresser drawers where you keep your clothes.
If there are any animal trophies or taxidermies in your home, inspect them.
The larder beetle larva will hide in these things and slowly feed on the fur of these trophies and taxidermies.
Adult larder beetles also sneak inside homes during winters to hibernate.
They’ll hide in the crevices of the attic, basement, storage room, and garage. Inspect these places too.
Check out the gaps in your home’s walls, ceiling, floor, and baseboards. These crevices are home to many bugs.
Many of these bugs die in these places. And the adult larder beetles will lay their eggs in their carcasses.
All these places and items are the food source of larder beetles.
While inspecting, you’ll find larder beetle larvae, and in some cases, the adult beetles too, in these items and places.
Your next step is to eliminate them. Here’s how to do it.
#2 – Eliminate The Larder Beetles And Their Larvae By A Vacuum Cleaner
Start by zeroing in on where you’ve found the most significant number of larder beetles or their larvae.
These are the places that are the source of the larder beetles.
Take a vacuum cleaner. Use it on the larvae and adults (if any) to remove them.
If you’ve found any larvae hiding inside the wall cracks, use a pincher to drag those larvae out.
Use your vacuum cleaner on these larvae to remove them.
Do the process till you’ve removed all the larvae and adult beetles from the infested places.
#3 – Do A Thorough Cleaning Of Your Kitchen And Discard Infested Items
The third step is essential. Clean your shelves of the kitchen pantry and storage areas like kitchen cabinets.
Vacuum clean all the places where you’ve found the larder beetle infestation.
Check out for the infested food items or damaged pieces of products made of animal matter.
These are the food sources of larder beetles in your kitchen and closet.
Discard the food items if they’re emitting a stench or if they’ve turned stale.
Wash the fabric in hot water so that larder beetles damaged. That’ll remove any larvae or eggs stuck in these fabrics.
It’d be best to do dry cleaning for leather, fur, and silk fabrics.
#4 – Finally, Seal The Wall Cracks
Many homeowners will stop at the third step. They won’t address the cracks on the walls.
These bugs resurface again out of nowhere.
They notice the larvae on the walls and ceiling because they didn’t fix the cracks on the walls that bugs use to hide.
So, seal crevices on the walls, floors, and ceilings. If there’s extensive damage on these places, then repair them.
But there’s a catch.
It doesn’t stop here.
You need to ensure that larder beetles don’t infest your home again in the coming spring.
You’d also need to stop them from sneaking inside your home for hibernating in the winter months.
Here’s how to do it.
How To Prevent Larder Beetle Infestation In Your Home
Getting rid of larder beetles in your home will amount to nothing if you don’t take steps to prevent them from entering your home.
These little black flying bugs show up in your home in the spring.
They’ll also sneak inside your home during the winters looking for a place to hibernate.
Preventing an infestation is easy. And you can do it by following these seven steps.
#1 – Control The Moisture Levels In Your Home
Let’s face it. High dampness in the home’s walls and floors makes your home a magnet for bugs.
And many people ignore it.
So, to prevent any bug infestation, you must control the moisture levels in your home.
And the best way to do it is by fixing leaking pipes.
Fix any leaky pipes in your kitchen, bathroom, basement, and even outdoors, especially the pipes that are close to your home’s foundation.
Leakages from these pipes increase the dampness levels in the floor and walls. That caused extensive damage to these places.
The walls and ceiling develop cracks and become porous too. That makes it easy for the bugs to hide in these gaps and lay their eggs.
Even rodents can drill through these weak walls and build their nests inside.
#2 – Store Your Food Securely In Robust Containers
Storing your food properly in sturdy food storage containers is one of the surest ways to prevent a pantry pests infestation.
Weak plastic food storage containers and cardboard boxes are easily penetrable by the strong jaws of larder beetles.
They’ll chew through them and access the stored food to infest and lay eggs.
#3 – Maintain Cleanliness In Your Kitchen
A dirty kitchen is a host of many bugs ranging from ants to roaches and not to mention larder beetles.
On top of keeping food safely in your kitchen pantry, ensure that there are no food spillovers.
Food stains on kitchen countertops, ovens, and appliances attract pests.
So, clean them often to remove any food stains, crumbs, or spilled over grains.
#4 – Repair Damaged Walls To Deny Hiding Places To Larder Beetles
If there are too many crevices on the walls and ceilings, repair them.
These crevices are home to not just larder beetles but also destructive pests like termites, cockroaches, and ants.
They also become the storehouse for dead bugs that the larder beetles can sniff out to lay their eggs.
#5 – Install Bug Zappers In Your Outdoor Area
Bug zappers are critical in keeping flying bugs away from your home.
Most of the flying bugs’ activities peak in the spring months, and they fly inside your home through open doors and windows.
The light from the bug zappers draws these flying bugs and electrocutes them. And they do the same to larder beetles as light attracts them too.
Install a bug zapper on your patio deck or near the doorways to prevent flying bugs and beetles from entering your home.
You can also install window screens with fine mesh on your windows and vents as an extra layer of protection.
#6 – Remove Any Dead Bugs Or Dead Rodents From Your Property
On top of the stored food in your kitchen, the dead bugs and dead rodents in your home and property are the food source of these larder beetles.
And in the spring months, you’ll find many of them in your home.
Your home becomes a hibernating destination for many overwintering bugs.
So, check out the places in your home that don’t receive much footfall, especially your attic, for any dead bugs and rodents.
Look out for any carcasses of bugs in your yard and garden too.
On finding any, remove those dead bugs and clean those places with a disinfectant.
#7 – Use Scents That Keep Bugs And Beetles Away
One of the best ways to repel bugs is to use scents that they hate. And peppermint is one of them.
Use peppermint spray in your home, along your home’s outdoor perimeter, yard, and places like the basement, kitchen, and attic.
You can spray some on animal trophies, woolen carpets, and taxidermies.
The strong smell of peppermint, pleasing to humans, is repulsive to larder beetles and many bugs like ants and roaches.
You can also hang sticky traps in places like your kitchen and near your cloth storage areas to entrap any flying beetle or bug in your home.
Keep cedarwood blocks in your closet, wardrobe, and dresser drawers to protect your expensive natural fabrics from larder beetles and closet bugs.
The smell of cedarwood blocks also repels cloth bugs like clothes moths and carpet beetles.
They protect your clothes from the damages caused by the larvae of these bugs.
Are Larder Beetles Harmful To Humans?
No, larder beetles are not harmful to humans, children, and pets. They don’t bite, and they don’t spread any diseases either.
They’re nuisance pests that can multiply quickly in your home if you don’t get rid of them.
Larder beetles and their larvae cause damage to your stored food and things made of natural fabric like wool, silk, leather, etc.
Is Larder Beetle A Type Of Carpet Beetle? Larder Beetles Vs. Carpet Beetles
Yes, the larder beetle is a type of carpet beetle with the same infestation habits. Also, both the larder beetles and carpet beetles belong to the Dermestidae family.
Carpet beetle also infests stored food and attacks things made of animal matter.
However, carpet beetle can also damage synthetic fabric products like nylon and polyester blended with natural fabrics like wool and silk.
Clothes and things like bedsheets and curtains made of cotton and soiled by food stains draw the carpet beetle larvae.
That’s one of the reasons the carpet beetle larvae show up on your bed because of the presence of food stains or food crumbs on your bedsheets.
The carpet beetle larva looks like a larder beetle, albeit smaller and thicker.
The carpet beetle larvae also have hairy bristles on their bodies.
But the carpet beetle larvae have yellowish patches on their bodies. In contrast, the larder beetle larvae are dark brown or black.
Adult carpet beetles look different too. They look like tiny brown and white striped bugs.
As the adult carpet beetles age, they also lose these patches and become black or dark brown.
The larder beetles are small black house bugs with brown strips on their middle, and they don’t lose them till they’re alive.
Both the adult carpet beetles and larder beetles differ in their dietary habits while they’re in nature.
The adult carpet beetles feed on the pollen and nectar of flowers. Unlike adult larder beetles, they don’t feed on dead bugs.
Do Larder Beetles Burrow In The Wood?
The larvae of larder beetles burrow in the wood moments before they go into the pupae stage.
In the pupae stage, the larvae of larder beetles wrap themselves into a cocoon.
It remains in that cocoon for 10-12 days before emerging as an adult.
Entomologists found out that this behavior of burrowing inside the wood in the pupae stage is a way to protect themselves from cannibalism.
The larder beetle larvae, which are yet to get into the pupae stage, can eat the other pupae because they’ll consider them as food.
However, the adult larder beetles don’t burrow into the wood.
The small black bug in the house with a brown stripe on the middle of their back is larder beetles.
Larder beetles are pantry pests and potential cloth bugs too.
Larder beetles are active during the spring months when they invade homes looking for a place to lay their eggs.
This guide explained why larder beetles target stored food and products made of animal matter to lay their eggs.
It also has detailed steps to eliminate and prevent larder beetle infestation in your home, naturally, without hiring professional pest control.
We’re Mark and Jim, and we’re retired pest controllers who made homes pest-free for more than three decades. We, along with our team of experts, founded this site to give you the pest control hacks that work.