What are flour beetles?

Flour beetles are pests that infest flour and cereal products, as well as other grain food products. As such, flour beetles are the most common type of pest associated with flour and stored products. These beetles are common in household pantries and grocery stores, but can also be found in mill and grain processing buildings. Originally from Asia and Africa, the two common flour beetles are not native to the United States, but are very abundant here.

Flour beetles are fairly small, only about 3 to 5 mm long – about the size of an apple seed. They are shiny, flat, oval, reddish-brown beetles. The two most common types of flour beetles are the confused flour beetle, Tribolium confusum, and the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Their main distinguishing feature is their antennae, but this is only noticeable at a magnified level.

Oddly enough, the flour beetle does not feed on whole grains, but instead feeds on the dust and remnants from processing or processed grains. While eating, the female lays eggs directly on the product being infested. Females can lay up to 400 eggs, all of which are near impossible to detect because of their small, clear appearance. Flour beetle eggs can hatch within only five to twelve days, producing larvae that are very small and tinged yellow. Like the adults, larvae require flour dust or broken grain kernels to feed. The transition from larvae to early adult beetle takes about 6 weeks.

With their small size, flour beetles can be hard to spot; other signs of an infestation can include dead bodies, cast skins, fecal pellets and quinones (their waste or excretions), together all of which will create highly pungent odors in grain. To control or eliminate flour beetles, all food products it might eat or has eaten must be disposed of. If you discover a flour beetle infestation, it’s best to contact a professional right away. The professionals at ScherZinger Pest Control located in Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus, OH, as well as the surrounding areas, are highly trained in the areas of infestations, assessments and exterminations, and can offer advice on how to deal with any bug or rodent problem, including any trouble you may have with either species of flour beetle.

Scherzinger Termite and Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or via web inquiryFacebook or Twitter.