About 1/8 to 1/4 inch long
Adults are dark brown and oval in shape with varying patterns of tan and yellow markings on wing covers. Larvae are tan and have a long body covered with stout hairs.
Several members of the genus Trogoderma in the Dermestidae beetle family are important pests of stored food products as well as of fabrics and hides. Both the adults and larvae of Trogoderma are often difficult to distinguish from one another and generally require an entomologist strongly familiar with the taxonomy of these beetles.
The species involved in this group include:
- Khapra beetle
- T. granarium, the warehouse beetles
- T. variabile
- T. ornatum and the larger cabinet beetle
- T. inclusum and the cabinet beetle
- T. glabrum
Other species may also be encountered. In most cases, pest management professionals refer to these beetles simply as Trogoderma beetles or use the term “warehouse” or “cabinet” beetles. Warehouse and cabinet beetles are a nuisance to insect collectors around the world because they infest boxes of stored, dried insects and reduce them to collections of dust and insect parts. Therefore, any accumulation of dead insects in walls, windowsills, light fixtures or an insect light trap can serve as a source for infestations of Trogoderma beetles. Trododerma beetles are also considered a potential health hazard in food products. The hairs on the larvae are equipped with barbs or are sharply pointed. Hairs shed by this beetle can be irritating to the mouth, esophagus and digestive tract of many people who ingest the hairs left on their food. The life history of Trogoderma beetles vary among the species. For example, the warehouse beetle female, T. vaiable, deposits up to 90 or more eggs within the infested food source. The larvae are very active and crawl throughout infested product and also move into adjacent areas to infest other food sources. In warm conditions, the entire life cycle can be completed in as little as 45 days. Conversely, the life cycle of T. ornatum, a species very common in homes, takes about six months from egg to adult under optimum conditions. Adult females of the larger cabinet beetle, T. inclusum, deposit up to 45 eggs within the food source and these hatch in 8 to 12 days. The entire life cycle of this species is completed in about six months.