Hide Beetle Facts
You’ll probably want to run away from the hide beetle. These warty, bumpy insects are scavengers who are often covered in dirt. These beetles are found all over the world in dry environments. These beetles are also useful in the forensic field, as they are the first organisms to appear on burned and charred bodies, helping to determine times of death.
Hide Beetle Bites
In suicide and homicide cases, the hide beetle is particularly useful. They will feed on human remains, helping investigators better estimate the time of death. Adults typically appear 11 days after a death. Larvae can appear within 51 days of a death. The hide beetle in its various stages can be compared to the length of time the body has been decaying, allowing time of death to be estimated.
These beetles are also used to clean the skin and hair off bones. Bones can inform investigators of demographics, gender, or trauma. Hide beetles are often used to clean smaller bones that are susceptible to harm from chemical cleaning. Museums will use hide beetles for similar reasons.
Hide Beetle Infestation
It will take around 5 to 7 weeks for the the hide beetles to develop either on animal carcasses or in dry-decay environments. Adults remain in these environments where the males will secrete pheromones to attract females. They will mate several times, and the female will produce eggs within a day.
The hide beetles will go through multiple developmental stages as larvae, and in their last ten days, they will begin to pupate, usually within a carcass or other substances like wood. This may take around twenty days. Once they reach the adult stage, the beetles will fly to seek other food sources, and live between 4 to 6 months.
Types of Hide Beetles
Hide Beetle Identification
Adult hide beetles are between 5.5 to 10.0 millimeters long with a black body and banded white hair on each side. Underneath, the hide beetle is mostly white with black spots. Its antennae are short and clubbed at the tip.
Hide Beetles In The House & The Garden
These beetles prefer to eat hides and skins, but will also eat dried meats and cheeses, feathers, animal droppings and dead animals. Not only can they contaminate your food products, but these pests drill into wood, cork and wool materials to pupate. These ⅛” inch holes can not only be unsightly, but, in large infestations, cause structural damage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dermestid Beetles
How do I get rid of hide beetles in the home?
In order to manage these beetles, you must locate where the beetles are coming from. Find where they are feeding, be it in your food sources, in animal hides, carpeting, furniture, or any other place that has the potential to be unclean. Places in the home that are rarely used may also entice these beetles, such as attics and basements.
Remove anything that is infested by covering it in plastic and placing it outside the home. Have any affected clothing dry-cleaned, and get rid of any contaminated food, as larvae have hairs that can upset the digestive tract. Place any newly purchased food in airtight containers.
Insecticides are not normally used because beetles often appear around food. However, if your problem does abate, it may be best to contact pest control services that have access to a wide variety of chemicals. Treating around the home may be one way to prevent the beetles from entering in the first place.
Benefits of Professional Hide Beetle Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a hide beetle problem. Finding and treating the hide beetles can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the hide beetle infestation.