Grain Beetles - School IPM - USU Extension

    Grain Beetles

    Oryzaephilus spp.; Tribolium spp.

    Grain beetle

    Sawtoothed grain beetle (Kansas Deptartment of Agriculture Archive,


    Left: Red flour beetle adults (Emilie Bess, USDA APHIS PPQ, Right: Red flour beetle larva (Frank Peairs, Colorado State University,

    In wheat

    Red flour beetle in wheat (Clemson University,


    • 1/8 inch long; brown to red
    • use hand lens to identify
    • sawtoothed grain beetle has spines on side of body behind the head
    • red flour beetles have clubbed antennae and eyes split above and below the head
    • other small beetles in grain also exist; consider collecting beetles for identification by USU Extension

    Nesting Habits

    • lay eggs on stored food products, especially of high moisture content
    • prefer damaged food rather than intact grains, kernels, etc.


    • highly varied
    • grain products, cereals, breads, peas, beans, dried meats, macaroni, nuts, dried fruits, spices, chocolate, drugs, tobacco, herbarium, insect and museum specimens


    • infest food, rendering it inedible

    IPM Recommendations

    • Improve sanitation procedures in affected areas.
    • Inspect all incoming food items for pests.
    • Store all susceptible food items in pest-proof containers.
    • Dispose of infested food items.
    • Keep moisture low in food storage areas by improving ventilation.
    • Keep food in regular rotation.

    Additional Resources

    IPM for Fabric and Pantry Pests: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)