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Red Flour Beetle

Size: 1/8 inch

Color: Reddish Brown

Where found: Grain products, flour pasta

Potential treatment: Interior

The red flour beetle is 1/8 of an inch long and is reddish-brown in color, with a three-segmented antenna shaped like a club. It is a common problem in pantries, grocery stores and grain producing facilities, where it finds its ideal food source and nesting place.

This pest is very similar to the confused flour beetle in appearance and habit. Both attack stored grain products, and eat and nest in them. Vulnerable products include flour, cereals, meal, 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.

Eggs are extremely small and white in color. They are deposited on broken grains and adhered with a sticky substance. Females lay as many as 450 eggs, which hatch quickly into tiny brownish-white worms. The period from egg to adult is six weeks, but may be as long as 90 days, and adults live for three years.

In identifying an infestation, you may find all stages of a beetle's life cycle present. They are not considered a health hazard, as the do not bite or sting. The red flour beetle has been known to cause a mild allergic reaction in some people, but they do not carry disease.

Infested grain may have a grayish tinge and may give off an unpleasant odor.

This beetle is more prevalent in southern states, as it prefers warmer climates. It can, however, survive colder temperatures if a suitable protected, heated space is located.