If you have found a beetle or moth in your food storage area, but you’re not sure that you have an infestation, it is likely that you do. Finding a beetle or moth is the adult phase of their life cycle, the other stages of the insect’s life span (egg, larval, pupal) can be tough to detect.
Some signs you may have a stored product insect infestation are:
· Dead insects, especially near cracks and crevices and on the back of the cupboard. This one is pretty obvious but must be said.
· Damaged packages which serve as a food source – if you find packages with holes in them, there’s a good chance something chewed or burrowed into your food stores.
· Webbing, moth larvae leave a webbing behind as they move through food.
· Food may look discolored from the pests.
So, you might wonder what are some of these insects are taking over your food storage and wreaking so much havoc?
They are generally either a beetle, weevil, or a moth, and they enjoy feasting on a pretty wide variety of your stored products such as:
· Dried fruits
· Pet food
Anything you store is prone to an infestation from a wide range of pests
Let’s take a closer look at these stored products insects, there are so many, but this list consists of the most common pests you may encounter. Remember that you can always contact us for free pest consultation and pest identification.
1. Rust red flour beetle
If conditions are just right, the reddish-brown flour beetle can live up to six months. Adults can grow up to 4 mm in length and are able to fly. You can find this beetle feasting on nuts, spices, cereals, dried fruits, and even bird seeds.
2. Saw-toothed grain beetle
The saw-toothed grain beetle is one of the more temperature tolerant pests. These beetles can live up to 4 months and can grow up to 3mm in length. The saw-toothed grain beetle gets its name from six protrusions on each side of the thorax, similar to a saw in appearance.
Enjoys feeding on dried fruits, nuts, cereal, and cereal products. These stored product pests are commonly met in the food industry and commercial properties.
3. Confused flour beetle
This beetle’s name is a giveaway for where you’ll find them feeding—making a nice home in your flour stores and cereal. With a life span of up to 6 months, this beetle has a long life if the conditions are just right. Growing up to 4 mm in length with a red-brown color and the ability to fly.
- Biscuit beetle
Growing up to 3 mm, the biscuit beetle is covered in a fine layer of hair and has a humped thorax. With a life span of up to 200 days, the biscuit beetle larvae are very active and do not feed as adults.
- Larder beetle
The larder beetle can be found feasting on animal products, in particular in your cheese stores. A fast-moving beetle with a distinct comet shape, black body with a white band across the back, and a layer of hair, this beetle can live up to three months in your food stores.
- Broadhorned flour beetle
The male broad horned flour beetle does two large mandibles on their head, giving them an appearance of being horned. The female broad horned beetle, however, looks similar to the confused flour beetle. These beetles can be found in flour, dough, and pasta. Broadhorned flour beetles cannot live in temperatures below 10 C.
- Flat grain beetle
With a preference for warm damp conditions, the flat grain beetle can live up to 103 days in your food stores of dates, cereal, dried fruit, and produce. Growing to up to 2.5mm in length and long antennae, the flat grain beetle is a winged beetle that seldomly flies.
- Rice weevil
If the conditions are just right, the rice weevil can live up to a year, and this pest likes temperatures to be around 18 C; anything below 16 C and the larvae cannot develop. You can find rice weevils in your grains and seeds. The adults will leave behind a tell-tale hole in the packaging of stored food from where they chew through to emerge as adults.
- Grain weevil
The grain weevil can live up to 16 weeks if the conditions are just right. This pest will set up a cozy home in your stores of wheat, grain, rye, and cereals. This weevil will also leave a hole in the packaging of your food when the adults emerge.
- Indian meal moth
If you have nuts, dried fruit, and grains stored, you may be attracting the Indian meal moth. Growing up to 9 mm in length and with a wingspan up to 20 mm, the Indian meal moth can live up to 35 days.
- Mill moth
The mill moth lays its larvae in a silken tube and can live up to 153 days if the conditions are right. This moth has a taste for flour only, leaving the rest of your stored food products alone. The mill moth can grow up to 9 mm in length and have a wingspan up to 20 mm.
- Tropical warehouse moth
Often found mixed in with imported food, the tropical warehouse moth larvae enjoy feasting on cereal, dried fruits, nuts, oily cakes, and oily seeds the adult tropical warehouse moths do not feed.
These moths can grow up to 9 mm in length and have a wingspan up to 20 mm.
If you suspect you have a pest problem, it may be time to call a professional pest control company. Treating pests yourself can be costly and time-consuming; ensuring the proper treatments and protocols to eradicate the pest problem quickly and efficiently should be left for a certified pest control company.