Confused flour beetle
Stored Product Pest
here for photo Photo İH. A. Turney Texas A&M University
CONFUSED FLOUR BEETLE
Flour beetles, most notably the Confused flour beetle and the Red flour beetle look very much alike. A ten power glass is needed to tell the difference. Slender, beetle-looking things, they are
reddish-brown and about an eighth of an inch long - about the size of a grain of rice. Both are major pests of flour and flour products. They cannot penetrate nor feed on whole grains, but can be found in virtually any other processed food product. This includes anything manufactured with flour products, dried fruit, spices, chocolate products and even tobacco products. This is the pest you find most often in those too-old cake mix boxes.
Adult females will deposit as many as three or four of their sticky white eggs, per day, in the product itself, or in the cracks and crevices of packaging materials. They can produce as many as 400 to 500 eggs in their rather long lifetime. Eggs hatch in about two weeks and the tan colored larvae go through as many as 12 molts, reaching adult stage in about a month. Ideal conditions produce as many as six or seven generations in a year.
Any product infested with these pests acquires a rather distinct odor (and flavor) as a result of secretions from their very active scent glands. These two flour beetles are quite common.
Stored food / pantry / product pest
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