Pest Guides

Leather Beetle (Hide Beetle)

Dermestes maculatus


Leather Beetle

  • The adult Leather Beetle (also called the hide or skin beetle) is 6–10mm in length. The fore wings of the Leather Beetle are dark brown, and its upper side is black, whereas its underside is white. The quantity of white on the underside may vary according to species.
  • Larvae - as with D. lardarius (Larder beetle) - are longer than adults, and are 3-9cm in length, but with an orange stripe running down the length of the back.


  • The lifecycle of the Leather Beetle is 2–3 months.
  • Leather Beetles prefer breeding at temperatures of 18–25°C, with females beetles laying 800 eggs in their lifetime.


  • Both adults and larvae of Leather Beetles feed on raw skins and hides. They also feed on various animal products and dried fish. They pupate in solid material, e.g. wood.
  • Adults fly readily.
  • Leather Beetles cause serious damage in the areas of silkworm production and museums.