Grain Beetles

Identification

  • Colour Brown or dark red
  • Size From 2 mm to 3 mm long
  • Description Some species carry six blade-like projections on their body, while others have large, prominent eyes, making the head very pointed.

General Facts

Why do I have grain beetles?

The sawtoothed grain beetle, merchant grain beetle, lesser grain beetle, rusty grain beetle, and foreign grain beetle are pervasive in businesses and homes across Canada.

These pests are attracted to nearly any stored food product, particularly cereals, breakfast foods, flour, dried fruits and meats, pet foods, and many other items.

The different species prefer different types of grain. For example, the sawtoothed grain beetle feeds on oats, wheat, barley, animal feed, and processed and packaged foods. Other species, like the merchant grain beetle, like foods with higher oil content, such as oatmeal, bran, and brown rice, processed cereals, seeds, and dried fruit.

Seeking food, grain beetles often invade grain elevators, warehouses, mills, home pantries, railroad cars, and cargo ships which transport food items, entering through cracks and crevices.

Grain beetles also like to lay their eggs in or near the grain, so their larvae have an immediate food source when they hatch 10 days later.

How worried should I be about grain beetles?

A grain beetle infestation makes pantry products unfit for consumption, while the sight of these beetles themselves can alarm people. An infested grain will often overheat. Meanwhile, the grain container will be filled with entry and exit holes.

These pests may also indicate the existence of an infestation problem where the product was manufactured or bought, causing granaries, warehouses, mills, and even retail establishments to lose business and profits over time.

Exposing the infestation to extreme heat or cold, using store-bought traps may be enough to stop a smaller infestation, as could the use of pesticides in cracks and crevices where these beetles are hiding – although not around any food products.

However, grain beetles can lay up to 300 eggs every year, with larvae then taking two months to develop into adults. Both the eggs and larvae are extremely difficult to see with the naked eye. To be sure your grain beetle infestation is over, a professional pest control service is crucial.

How can I prevent grain beetles invading?

Keep food storage areas clean and sanitary, Clean and vacuum all crevices and corners, Wipe up food spills immediately, Check the temperature of stored grains, Buy grains in smaller quantities, Use older grains before opening more, Store grains in refrigerator or freezer, Use glass, metal, or heavy plastic containers

Other pests related to Grain Beetles

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