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Confused Flour Beetle

Size: 1/8 inch

Color: Reddish Brown

Where found: Grain products, flour pasta

Potential treatment: Interior

The confused flour beetle is a shiny, flattened, oval, reddish-brown beetle about 1/8 of an inch long, with antennae that become gradually club-like at the end. It often is confused with the red flour beetle, as this antennae feature is the only significant difference between the two, and this is likely how it got its name.

Both the confused and red flour beetles are attracted to grain products and feed on broken starch materials, such as flour and meal, as well as cereals, crackers, beans, spices, pasta, cake mix, dried pet food, dried flowers, chocolate, nuts, and seeds. Adults and larvae feed on and multiply on these products.

Female beetles lay an average of 450 small, transparent white eggs on grains and grain materials, and cover them with a sticky substance that protects them. Eggs hatch in 5 to 12 days, and the larvae, small brownish-white worms, emerge. These small worms become yellow pupae, which eventually grow to the reddish-brown beetle. Egg to adult is about six weeks in optimal conditions and adults live up to three years.

All of these stages will likely be found in infested foods, however the beetles are not considered to be a health hazard. They have chewing mouth parts, but they do not bite or sting and do not carry disease.

Grains that have been infested by these beetles will often appear gray, may exhibit mold growth and have an unpleasant odor. These beetles are quite widespread, even in colder climates.