Pest Information

Pantry Pest

Flour Beetles

Confused and red flour beetles are serious pests in flour mills and food storage areas. Adults of both species are very similar in appearance. Larvae and adults feed on a number of foods including flour, cracked grains, cake mixes, beans, peas, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, spices, and tobacco. Flour beetles do not feed on whole, undamaged grains. Heavily infested food products have a foul odour. The beetles are between 3mm & 4mm or 1/8 to 1/4 inch long.

Flour Beetles Flour Beetles

Sawtoothed Grain BeetleSawtoothed Grain Beetle

This insect is a commonly found pantry pest. Although not a feeder on undamaged, whole grains, it feeds on numerous food products including cereals, bread, dried fruits, nuts, sugar, macaroni, and seeds. The small size, about 3mm or 1/8 inch long and flat body of these beetles enable them to penetrate very narrow cracks and crevices of poorly sealed packages.

Indian Meal Moth

Indian mothAdults of the Indian meal moth are about 13mm or 3/8 inch long with a wingspan of about 20mm or 5/8 inch. The front wings are tan the front one-third are reddish brown with a copper lustre on the back two-thirds. The larva is a dirty white colour. The larva feeds on all kinds of grains, seeds, powdered milk, dog food, crackers, candy, nuts chocolate and dried fruit. Telltale signs are fine silk webbing in the infested product.

Lesser Grain Borer

Lesser Grain BorerThe adults are about 3mm or 1/8 inch long, with cylindrical dark brown or black bodies. With a ten power glass, you can see the tiny pits on their wing covers. They are recognizable without magnification because their heads are bent downward and cannot be seen from overhead.

Both adults and larvae are important pests of all kinds of stored grain. Both attack and feed upon whole grains. The larvae may also feed on flour products as well as whole grains. Larvae complete development inside grain kernels. Adults have very powerful jaws that can also bore into wood as well as whole grains.

Rice Weevil

Rice WeevilThe adults are about 3mm or 1/8 inch long, dull reddish-brown in colour, with four red or yellow spots on their wing covers and irregular round pits on their pronotum. The head is an elongated snout.

Rice weevils are primarily grain feeders, but will attack almost any kind of whole grain, as well as nuts, beans, and even some fruits. They are found all over the world. They are strong fliers.

Tobacco Beetle

Tobacco BeetleThe Tobacco beetle or Cigarette beetle is around 2 – 3 mm or 1/8 inch long and are found in the pantry feeding on things like cereals, dried fruit and flour. This particular beetle came from a decorative iced fruit cake on display in a flower shop.

The beetle is very similar to the Drugstore beetle but the wing covers on this beetle are smooth in comparison when looked at through a 10x magnifying glass.

Drugstore Beetle

The Drugstore beetle is also known as the Biscuit beetle and is very similar to the Tobacco beetle. This beetle is slightly larger at about 3 – 4 mm or 3/16 inch long and its antennae ends with 3 segmented clubs as seen in the picture. The wing covers or elytra has pitted grooves running along (see pic) them whereas the Tobacco beetle is smooth in comparison.

This beetle got its name from feeding on medicines in pharmacological premises but it will feed on any dried food and spices which makes the beetle a home pantry pest as well as commercial pest. The beetle in the picture had been in a box of dried cat food.

Beetle   Beetle