Larva of a dermestid beetle

7480.      My client originally thought her cat and son’s dog had fleas and bought medication from us. The owner claims she gets bugs on herself and has developed a rash on her back. She had a fumigator come to her house and says it seemed a bit better since. Yesterday she brought us the bug in the picture. Is it a carpet beetle? What is the best way to get rid of them? Cochrane, Alberta. Canada


Number 7480.   This appears to be a larva of a dermestid beetle in the genus Trogoderma. They will feed on a very wide variety of seeds as well as dead insects and animals, cereal products, candy, cocoa, corn, corn meal, dog food (dried and ‘burgers’), fishmeal, flour, oatmeal, milk powder, spaghetti, spices, peas, wheat, barley, and pollen. In grain, they cannot feed on whole grain, but can feed on broken kernels that are usually present. The best control is prevention; start by examining all potentially infestable products in your home, discarding anything that appears to be infested. Then, give all storage areas a thorough cleaning. In the future, store all potentially infestable products in sealable glass, plastic, or metal containers.