Flour Beetles

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  • Colour Reddish-brown
  • Size From 3 mm to 4 mm long
  • Also known as Red flour beetles or Confused flour beetles.
  • Description Shiny and flat. Their larvae are white with hints of yellow, and two prominent dark growths at tip of the abdomen.

How to identify Flour Beetles

These species of flour beetles look almost exactly the same. They are shiny, flat, reddish-brown insects about 3-4mm long. The larvae of both species also have the same appearance. Both are white with hints of yellow, 2 prominent dark processes at tip of abdomen. The larvae of the red flour and confused flour beetles can grow up to 6mm in length before pupating.

Signs of an infestation

An obvious sign is seeing the adult beetles crawling around an infested product and/or lumped food particles formed by larvae. A sharp, unpleasant odour coming from stored flour or cereal may suggest a flour beetle infestation. Severely infested milled grain can also appear pink due to the sheer number of insects.

Flour Beetles Removal

If a food product is heavily infested, the best method of control is to discard infested items. Light infestations can be controlled by temperature manipulation, either freezing or heating when applicable.
Always clean up spilled flour/food products, especially in hidden areas around appliances. Vacuuming pantries and cabinets while paying close attention to cracks and crevices is another effective way to keep flour beetles from infesting stored food.

How to prevent Flour Beetles from invading

Inspect cereals, flour, cake mixes, and noodles. Store all milled grain and starches in airtight containers. Inspect pantries regularly for pest activity. Always clean up spilled flour and food products. Check hidden areas around appliances. Regularly vacuum pantries and cabinets. Check cracks and crevices for beetles.

Habitat, Diet, and Life Cycle


Both the red and confused flour beetles infest grain and grain products worldwide. They are commonly found in stored grains within mills, warehouses, supermarkets, and homes. In homes, these pests can thrive in crevices inside pantries and kitchen cabinets where food spills infiltrate.


These beetles feed on finely milled starches such as flour or meal. They do not feed on whole or undamaged kernels and need ground grain to survive.

Life Cycle

The average lifespan of an adult flour beetle is about one year. Females lay about 450 sticky, white eggs directly onto a food source. This tacky exterior of the eggs collects fine particles and broken grain, which coats and protects them until they hatch. Larvae then feed on the surrounding food until pupating and emerging as adults.

Commonly Asked Questions

Why do I have flour beetles?

Flour beetles survive Canadian winters in warm granaries, farms, mills, warehouses, supermarkets, and homes, where they can find the ground grain they need to survive.

They only eat finely milled starches like flour and meal, and do not feed on whole kernels. In homes, flour beetles thrive in crevices inside pantries and cabinets, where food spills infiltrate.

As well, female flour beetles like to lay about 450 sticky, white eggs directly onto a food source, on which the larvae can feast when they hatch.

How worried should I be about flour beetles?

During a flour beetle infestation, any product they have invaded is contaminated, with dead beetles, cast off skins, fecal pellets, and liquid waste, and should be discarded.

A flour beetle infestation can also give off a sharp, unpleasant odour. Not only that, live flour beetles cause moisture to build inside stored items, which can lead to mold growth, and severely infested milled grain can also appear pink, due to the sheer number of insects within.

Since the average flour beetle lives for a year, your pest problem may not be so easy to eradicate. For peace of mind, you need a professional pest control service.

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