Confused Flour Beetle

Reddish brown, with flat, oblong body; 1/8-inch.

Habitat

The confused flour beetle gets its name because it is often confused with its nearly identical relative the red flour beetle. The red flour beetle can fly, however, while the confused flour beetle cannot. Both beetles are most common in processed grain products, where their flattened bodies permit them to work their way into almost any package. Food heavily infested by these beetles often develop a grayish tint and take on an unpleasant odor. Confused flour beetles are capable of breeding year-round in heated buildings.

Diet

Flour beetles are scavengers that cannot attack whole grains: they must rely on other insects such as rice weevils or lesser grain borers to first damage the kernels. They are know as “bran bugs”because of their preference for flour and flour by-products.

Control

Discard all infested packages in outside trash receptacles. Clean spilled grain and infested cabinet areas using a vacuum followed by soapy water. Store all dried food goods in a glass or plastic container with a tight lid to limit spreading if one food becomes infested. Consider storing cereals and similar foods in the refrigerator to limit stored pantry pest problems.

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