Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle

Category:

Actual Size: ⅛”

Characteristics: Slender, flat and brown

Habits:

  • Get their name from the 6 tiny sawlike “teeth” on each side behind head.
  • Incapable of attacking sound grain, preferring dust and crumbs of grain.
  • Typically enters homes in infested products purchased from grocery stores.

The saw-toothed grain beetle is a common stored products pest found throughout the United States in homes, grocery stores, food warehouses, and grain storage facilities. Adults find their way into stored grains, flour, sugar, nuts, and other dry material of plant origin through cracks and crevices of imperfectly sealed containers. They are incapable of attacking sound grain kernels and often occur in food previously infested by other stored product pests. Their flattened body allows them to easily penetrate broken kernels of grain and packaged materials. Not only do they contaminate food, they often cause mold problems due to moisture build-up.

Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle Habitat

Saw-toothed grain beetles are commonly found in food manufacturing, storage, and retail facilities, as well as in-home pantries. This stored product pest feeds on bread, cereal, dry pasta, dried meats, candy, nuts, and other dry goods. A single female can lay up to 250 eggs within cracks of kernels of grain. As with other pantry insects, it is the larvae that do most of the damage, however, the adult is most commonly encountered. A typical discovery of a saw-toothed grain beetle infestation occurs when adult beetles are discovered crawling around a pantry area.

Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Saw-toothed grain beetles are not known to carry or transmit any diseases to humans and do not bite or sting. They are nuisance pests and will contaminate and damage food that is stored in the home. Adults can readily enter sealed cardboard boxes and soft plastic packaging. Sawtoothed grain beetles typically enter homes in products purchased from grocery stores which are already infested with larvae or adults. The primary infestation usually originates at the manufacturing facility where the product was produced.

Saw-Toothed Grain Beetle Prevention

Saw-toothed grain beetles enter homes through products purchased in stores. To prevent an infestation, inspect grain and dry food products before purchasing. Store dry foods in sealed glass, metal, or plastic containers. All food packages should be examined for beetles and infested packages removed and destroyed. Check the back of cupboards and drawers for packages of food rarely used, and inspect for beetles. Regularly clean and vacuum cracks, shelves, and wire shelving in pantries.