Stored Product Pests are found in and around your pantries, cabinets, food processing facilities and warehouses. They infest, feed on and contaminate items such as flour, bran, dried vegetables, grains, cereal products, dog food, nuts, candy, spices, macaroni, spaghetti, figs, dates, raisins, prunes, and other similar products. The first sign of an infestation is the appearance of small beetles, moths or caterpillars crawling or flying around your home.
Killing them is not a permanent solution to this problem. Complete the following:
- Inspect to locate the infestation. Make sure all of your dry products are checked, even the unopened ones.
- Throw away all the infested products.
- Wash the infested areas with soapy water and a strong concentration of bleach or other disinfectant.
- Store your dry products in plastic sealed containers. This also helps to inspect a product when you it, by transferring a new product into the plastic, container the bugs will be evident and you can return the product to the store.
Common Stored Product Pest:
- Confused and Red Floor Beetle
- Cigarette Beetle
- Drugstore Beetle
- Indian Meal Moth
- Merchant Grain Beetle
- Rice Weevil
- Saw-toothed Grain Beetle
If you’re having continual issues with stored product pest, contact a professional, we are highly trained and equipped to handle your situation.
Confused and Red Flour Beetles are the two of most common flour beetles. They ere similar in appearance, they’re both about 1/8 inch in length, elongated, shiny, flat, and reddish-brown in color. One of the differences between them is the confused flour beetle has a straight-sided thorax while the red flour beetle thorax has curved sides.
The Confused Flour Beetle, often confused for the red flour beetle is how they got its name. They are a common pest known for eating and infesting stored flour and grain. Even though they have wings, they do not fly.
The Red Flour Beetle is a worldwide pest of stored products. Initially from Asia, they are commonly found in the south of United States. Unlike the confused flour beetle, it is not typical for them to fly.
Cigarette Beetle is also referred to as the cigar beetle, or tobacco beetle, and is about 1/8 inch in length, rounded-oval shaped, reddish-brown in color, and their wings are covered with fine hairs. When disturbed, they will often play dead by tucking in their head and legs, and stay motionless. They are most active at night and prefer dark cracks and crevices but can be active and fly around in bright open areas. The adults do not feed, but do drink liquids.
Drugstore Beetle is about 1/8 inch in length, cylinder-shaped, with rows of fine hairs on their wing covers, and are brown to reddish brown in color.
Although they eat a variety of foods and materials, they get their name from their habit of eating prescription drugs. An anonymous quote says it “eats anything but cast iron”. They eat food items such as flour, sweets, spices and non-food items such as wool, hair, and leather. They’re known to bore into wood, books and in some instances, tin, aluminum foil and lead sheets.
Indian Meal Moth adult is about 3/8 inch in length, grayish-brown in color, and the back half of the wings are darker than the front. The larvae are about 1/2 inch in length, a cream to yellowish in color with a dark brown head.
They do not fly in from outside, they are brought into the home from food already infested at the store or process facility. The adult moths do not feed and usually rest in dimly lit areas. The larvae, as they feed and crawl, leaves behind a silk web covering, fecal matter and skin cast on the food source. The damage of this contamination far exceeds the amount of food they eat.
Merchant Grain Beetle is about 1/10 inch in length, narrow oval shaped, dark brown in color, and has six saw-like teeth projecting from each side of the thorax (section between head and abdomen). Their preferred foods are oilseed products such as nuts and sunflower seeds. They are less common than, and are similar in appearance to the Saw-Tooth Grain Beetle.
- The Merchant Grain beetle has larger eyes than the Saw-Tooth Grain beetle.
- The Merchant Grain beetle can fly, but rarely does – The Saw-Tooth beetle does not fly.
Rice Weevils are about 1/10 inch in length with a long curved snout almost a third of it is total length, reddish-brown to black in color, and have four spots, that are red or light-yellow in color, on the corner of their wing covers. The larvae are white or cream-colored with a small tan-colored head. Their preferred foods are usually wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice and corn.
Saw-toothed Grain Beetle is a common stored product pest about 1/8 inch in length, and brown in color with six saw-like teeth projecting from each side of the thorax (section between head and abdomen). They “saw” their way into tightly sealed dry food packages and contaminate more than they consume. Their preferred foods are cereals, cornmeal, cornstarch, popcorn, rice, dried fruits, flour, rolled oats, bran, pasta, sugar, drugs, spices, herbs, candy, dried meats, chocolate, bread, nuts, crackers, raisins, and dry pet foods. They are similar in appearance to the Merchant Grain Beetle.
- The Saw-Tooth Grain beetle has smaller eyes than the Merchant Grain beetle.
- The Saw-Tooth beetle doesn’t fly. The Merchant Grain beetle can fly, but rarely does.