Stored Product Beetles

Identification

  • Colour Reddish, brown and black. Larvae are yellow to white.
  • Size 2 to 4 mm
  • Also known as Red flour beetle, rice weevils, merchant grain beetles
  • Description Each year, stored product beetles render a costly amount of food unusable. Primarily targeting grains, these pests create such havoc that to reduce the worldwide damage caused by the insects by half would leave enough food to feed the global population. Stored product beetles are largely categorized as internal feeders, external feeders, scavengers, or secondary pests depending on their eating habits. Commonly encountered species of stored product beetles in Canada include the confused flour beetle, the hairy spider beetle, the foreign grain beetle, the red flour beetle, the drugstore beetle, the cigarette beetle, and the sawtoothed grain beetle. These beetles can be found in any facility that handles food such as homes, mills, warehouses, granaries, bakeries, and stores.

General Facts

Why do I have stored product beetles?

Stored product beetles target common dry foods including cereal products, flour, animal feed, sunflowers, millet, beans, peas, spices, dried plant roots and fruits, chocolate, cornmeal, rolled oats, bran, wheat, barley, rye, flax, rice, prescription drugs, package and chewing tobaccos, and ginger. Stored product beetles leave behind several different telltale signs of infestation. A pungent odour indicates the nearby existence of confused flour beetles, while the presence of webbed granular material and chewed holes in grains points to the hairy spider beetle. Likewise, a pinkish colouration of grains typically means a large population of red flour beetles has invaded. However, some species are not as easily detected. In general, though, grains that feel warm or heated should alert individuals to the existence of a stored product beetle infestation.

How worried should I be about stored product beetles?

As their name suggests, stored product beetles create problems because they damage a wide variety of foodstuffs and make them unfit for human consumption. Infestations of stored product beetles in granaries, warehouses, and similar establishments can result in costly losses. However, these pests do not typically spread disease or cause structural damage.

How can I prevent stored product beetles invading?

Implementing several pest management strategies can reduce the risk of a stored product beetle infestation. First, regularly do a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the target area. Grains and other food sources should be kept in tightly sealed bins. Between uses, wash the containers thoroughly. Fix any leaky pipes to eliminate extraneous sources of moisture that might attract pests, and use caulk to seal cracks and other possible hiding or entry points. Once an infestation becomes established, elimination can be difficult. Extreme heat or cold can be fatal to beetles at all stages of the life cycle, so freezing infested foodstuffs or placing the products in the oven for a designated amount of time can help control these pests. Removing all items from the pantry to vacuum the inside also aids in eliminating stored product beetles. For large and enduring infestations, you may require a well trained pest control company to implement more professional methods of removal.

Other pests related to Stored Product Beetles

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