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Insects and other arthropods

Dermestidae

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Description

Around 20 species of Dermestidae live in Quebec. Dermestid beetles, whose name means “skin eater,” are frequently found in homes.

The most common, other than the larder beetle (Dermestes lardarius), are the black larder (Dermestes ater), the hide beetle (Dermestes maculatus), the carpet beetle (Anthrenus scrophulariae), the varied carpet beetle (Anthrenus verbasci), the black carpet beetle (Attagenus unicolor), the dermestid beetle (Trogoderma inclusum) and the warehouse beetle (Trogoderma variabile).

Life cycle

Dermestid beetles undergo complete metamorphosis. The time and duration of the stages of their development vary greatly depending on the conditions of their living environment. Outdoors or in unheated buildings, they spend the winter in the adult stage, hidden in a shelter. In the springtime or at the beginning of the summer, they come out to mate. Depending on species, the female lays hundreds of eggs, in small groups, directly on the food source for the larvae or near a food source.

The larva that hatches from the egg begins feeding and quickly takes on its characteristic appearance: a body that looks like that of a small brown caterpillar, covered with long hairs. It moults several times. Once it is fully developed, it becomes a pupa for a period that may vary from several days to two weeks before it emerges as an adult.

Where are they from?

Adult dermestid beetles come into houses in the springtime and at the beginning of the summer looking for places to lay their eggs. In the fall, they are attracted to the heat inside the house. They get in through cracks, holes in screens, roof decks, walls and other openings. Sometimes they are introduced into the home in bags or boxes of merchandise or dry goods such as cereal, cookies and flour.

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