Bullet Pantry Pests

The insect pests of our stored food products consist of many different species, but are primarily either of the order Coleoptera (beetles and weevils) and Lepidoptera (moths). The different species are divided into three groups according to their feeding habits. There are internal feeders, external feeders, and scavengers.

INTERNAL FEEDERS
The internal feeders are so called because the female deposits a single egg inside a whole kernel of grain. The egg hatching, the larvae feeding, and the pupation all occur within that grain kernel. These insects are primarily a problem in fields or in grain storage and processing facilities.

 

GRANARY WEEVIL & RICE WEEVIL

          

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Adult is reddish-brown in color; about 1/8" long. 
Rice weevil has four light colored spots on the wing covers and the wing cover is dotted with small round punctures.
Weevils can be identified by the presence of the characteristic "snout" that is used for boring into the grain kernels. 
Granary weevil back covers have elongated oval punctures and no colorations. 
Granary weevil cannot fly, so infestation is restricted to stored whole grains; rice weevil is a good flier so also infests fields.
Under ideal conditions, development from egg to adult takes as little as four weeks. 
The adult female lives four to eight months during which time it lays up to 400 eggs. 
Both can over winter. 
The-adults are sometimes found in flour or macaroni, but their eggs cannot hatch in these materials.

 

ANGOUMOIS GRAIN MOTH

 

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This pest is frequently encountered in homes, as well as warehouses and stores; it often is found in seed art or decorative dried "Indian corn". 
The adult is very small like a clothes moth, yellowish white in color with pale colored wings. 
The hind wing has a finger-like projection on the leading edge.

 

LESSOR GRAIN BORER

 

The lessor grain borer is an internal feeder of the bostrichid family. This family is better known for its wood-boring members. The lessor grain borer also bores into wood and books as well as whole grains.

EXTERNAL FEEDERS
The external feeders are so called because the egg is laid outside the whole grain, and the larvae feeds on the grain or product from the outside. These insects are often found in homes.

 

DRUGSTORE BEETLE

      

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This beetle feeds on almost every dried plant product there is; it is often found in dried dog food, and spices such as red pepper, flour, oatmeal, spices and strychnine (rodent bait), almonds, peanuts, paprika, alfalfa meal, cornmeal, wheat, wheat bran, wheat germ, dry dog and cat food, bread, birdseed, beans, coffee beans, fishmeal, spaghetti, instant chocolate, powdered milk, books, manuscripts, dried flowers, certain fillers and fabric coverings of furniture, leather, museum specimens, and other foodstuffs. 
The adult is light brown in color, about 1/10" long. 
It can be distinguished from the cigarette beetle that it resembles by the longitudinal lines on the wing covers (elytron).
There will be one to four generations per year depending on temperatures; under ideal conditions development takes about 40 days.

 

CIGARETTE BEETLE

 

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Most common pest of stored tobacco; also infest most other dried plant products. They will also infest raisins, figs, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, chili powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, yeast, barley, cornmeal, flour, soybean meal, sunflower meal, wheat, wheat bran, beans, cereals, peanuts, dried flowers, leather, woolen cloth, and bamboo. 
Similar in appearance to the drugstore beetle except body is smooth. 
More prolific breeder than the drugstore beetle and is a good flier. 
The cigarette beetle and the drugstore beetle are very similar in appearance. Both are small, about 1/10 inch in length, reddish-brown oval-shaped beetles. The cigarette beetle has the head bent down at nearly right angles to the body giving it a humped back appearance when viewed from the side. The drugstore beetle has the head deflexed, but not quite as much as the cigarette beetles. To distinguish between the two species, you will need to look closely at the antennae. The drugstore beetle has a distinct three-segmented antennal club, while the cigarette beetle does not have a distinct club.

 

CADELLE

 

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The largest of the food pests; is also known as the bread beetle or bolting cloth beetle. 
Adults and larvae feed on cereals, breakfast foods, potatoes, shelled and unshelled nuts, or fruit, and prefer to lay their eggs under the flaps of cartons. They can gnaw through sacks and paper packages and wood, thus allowing other insects access. Unlike the granary and rice weevils, they feed not only on whole grains, but also on flour and a variety of other products. 
The adult-is shiny black in color, about 1/3" long, and the pronotum is strongly separated from the wing attachments giving a "tractor and trailer" appearance.

 

TROGODERMA

 

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The Khapra beetle, is the most destructive of the food infesting insects; many efforts are made to prevent this insect from again becoming established in this country. 
The Khapra beetle attacks stored food such as cereals and oil seeds. Larva will feed on just about anything though they prefer wheat, barley or rice. Other common food includes dried blood, milk, pollen and dead insects. 
The most common place for Khapra Beetle activity in the home will be in the pantry, the garage and the laundry room.

 

INDIAN MEAL MOTH

       

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Most common pest of dried fruit,; also infest grain, pasta, nuts flout, dry food stuff. 
Adult is distinctive in appearance and behavior, about a 3/4" wingspread, outer half of forewings are reddish- brown in color, flies at night in an irregular zigzag pattern. 
The larvae is about 1/2" long, dirty white color with a pinkish or greenish tint; the mature larvae is often found searching for a suitable place to pupate, they are often mistaken for clothes moths.

SCAVENGERS 
The scavengers are so called because they are unable to penetrate or feed on undamaged grain kernels. They lay their eggs and the larvae feed on dust and particles of food products, or on the kernels damaged by the internal or external feeders.

RED FLOUR BEETLE & CONFUSED FLOUR BEETLE

      

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Very similar in habits and appearance. The red and confused flour beetles are pests of a wide range of grain, cereal, and other food products, but they prefer milled grain. They will consume pet food, cereal, pasta, spices, rodenticide, dried fruit and vegetables, eggs of other insects, nuts, grass seed and just about anything, which can provide nutrition.
Red flour beetle is a strong flier; the last three antenna segments form a distinct club (radar). 
Confused flour beetle, often called the BRAN BUG does not fly, the antenna segments enlarge to a slender club end. 
Both are reddish-brown in color, about 1/8" long. 
Female lays up to 400 eggs in her lifetime of up to three years.

 

SAW-TOOTH GRAIN BEETLE

      

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The smallest of the stored food pests, it is able to easily penetrate almost any package or jar.
Adult is about 1/10" long, flattened body; brownish color. 
Gets its name from the six saw-tooth projections on each side of the thorax. 
Merchant Grain Beetle very similar in habits and appearance. 
Are found in almost any stored dry food material, large population develops rapidly in normal household conditions. 
Female lays about 300 eggs in her life of up to three years.

 

MEDITERRANEAN FLOUR MOTH

      

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Common in household products such as nuts and chocolate as well as spices, dried fruits, and flour and pet food. 
Adult has about 1" wingspan, wings are pale gray with black wavy bars running across them. 
When at rest, has a characteristic pose with the head elevated and the tip of the abdomen protruding between the wings. 
Silken threads or mats in infested material indicate this moth.