The Red Flour Beetle, a Stored Product Pest

Pest Management In and Around Structures May 20, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF


(A) Flour beetles (shown here in wheat flour) are approximately 1/8 to 3/16 inch long and dark cherry to dark brown in color.
(B) Adult flour beetles have gradually-clubbed antennae.

Red flour beetles, Tribolium castaneum, are 1/8 to 3/16 inch long, flattened, and dark cherry to dark brown in color with gradually-clubbed antennae. These long-lived beetles are serious pests of grain processing facilities and food warehouses, but can also be found in grocery stores and home cupboards. Flour beetles cannot eat sound, intact kernels of grain. The grain must be damaged or milled (i.e., flour).

Females may lay up to 1,000 eggs during their life span, which may last several years under ideal conditions. Because adult red flour beetles are very active, can fly, and are sometimes attracted to light, they disperse easily from their initial infestation point. Adult beetles consume food.




"Stored Product Pests in the Home" is a production of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Georgia. The original authors of this content are Daniel R. Suiter, Michael D. Toews and Lisa M. Ames.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.