In the wild, Dermestid Beetle larvae feed on organic debris in the nests of birds, mammals, and bees. Some species are found on carcasses. A few exploit even more unusual habitats such as Mantis egg cases and spider webs.
When they enter the world of humans, Dermestid larvae attack clothes and carpets, stored food products including grains, even insect and vertebrate museum specimens.
The image at right shows the scene at a Dermestid infestation of stored food products, in this case grits.