Red Flour Beetle

Red flour beetles attack stored grain and other food products

Red flour beetles are a common kitchen pantry pest and a pest of stored grains. The adult beetle is very small, 4mm long (1/8 inch), of a uniform rust, brown or black color. The head and pronotum are often darker than the rest of the body.

The larvae are legless and creamy white with a dark head capsule and two rows of black spots running down each side. They can grow up to 1/2 inch long (12 mm). The larval stage lasts 6-8 weeks depending on temperature and food supply.

Red flour beetles attack stored grain and other food products including flour, cereals, pasta, biscuits, beans and nuts causing loss and damage. They can also be found in dried fruit such as raisins and figs as well as some spices such as cinnamon sticks or vanilla pods.

The red flour beetle is a beetle of Indo-Australian origin but has spread worldwide in heated environments such as bakeries, warehouses or grocery stores where there are large quantities of food available for them to feed on.

the red flour beetle
(Tribolium castaneum)

The adult female makes a small hole in the packaging material. She lays eggs on the food product, which she covers with secretions from her mouthparts.

The larvae feed on the food product and pupate within their feeding tube.

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