flour beetles on a table

What are flour beetles? 

Flour beetles are pantry pests commonly found in residential homes and commercial food businesses. These creatures have flat, dark cherry exoskeletons, are one-eighth to one-quarter of an inch long, and have large, striated abdomens. 

There are two species of flour beetles in our area — the red flour beetle and the confused flour beetle. Both types are extremely common in silos, pantries, and agricultural settings. 

Flour beetles choose to make their homes in bags of grain, cereal, or rice. They consume almost every type of cereal that people eat and lay their eggs inside secure food areas to ensure a higher survival rate.

flour beetle in pantry

Are flour beetles dangerous? 

Pantry pests such as flour beetles cannot bite, scratch, sting, or directly harm humans in any way. However, flour beetles can contaminate the food items in which they live. Egg laying and pathogen spread is a serious concern for residential and commercial property owners. Given enough time, flour beetles may even spread certain parasites to humans. 

Consuming food contaminated by flour beetles is not recommended. Should your food stores be damaged or packages torn, throw them away at once. 

Why do I have a flour beetle problem? 

One of the most common reasons flour beetles infest some houses over others has to do with the ease of access to food. Homes with unsealed food items, properties with less security, or silos with larger entry points or gaps will have a higher risk for infestations. 

It is important to note that flour beetles are not necessarily an indication of messy or dirty housekeeping. On the contrary, these pests are opportunistic and infest the homes and food supplies that are easiest for them to reach. 

Where will I find flour beetles? 

You will most likely find flour beetles and their larvae (called mealworms) hiding in bags of rice, flour, wheat, and other cereal-type grains. These pests are almost completely dependent on human activity and grain harvesting, meaning that they are rarely found anywhere else in the wild. 

You may also find mealworms or flour beetle eggs inside food containers or grain shipment boxes. It is important to inspect all purchased foods for signs of infestation long before you leave the store.

How do I get rid of flour beetles? 

Flour beetles are chronically infesting pests that require a combination of treatments in order to eliminate them effectively from a property. Chemical products are often the last resort for these pests, especially in commercial warehouses or food manufacturing plants. Flour beetles are usually resistant to baits and sprays, which further complicates the issue. 

Heat treatments and exclusionary tactics are often the best ways to remove an established flour beetle infestation from both residential and commercial buildings. 

Flour beetles are not pests you can handle through DIY treatment or home remedies alone. The team at All Pest Control is prepared to help your home or business eliminate all traces of a previous flour beetle infestation. Please call our primary office to be connected with a knowledgeable technician today. 

How can I prevent flour beetles in the future? 

The prevention of flour beetle infestations begins at home with some prevention applications. Assess your home or business for signs of pest activity before implementing the following steps:

  • Practice proper food prep safety and food storage measures.

  • Inspect all grains and cereals before purchasing them from the store.

  • Reduce household moisture levels by installing a dehumidifier or using desiccant bags around key areas. 

 
 

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