Creature Feature

Flour Beetles

Red and confused flour beetles are one of the most common stored product pests. Physically and behaviorally, they are practically the same and can be approached with the same management methods. The main difference between them is that adult red flour beetles fly (although not strongly) and adult confused flour beetles do not. Adults are up to ¼ inch long with flattened bodies that help them hide in tight crevices. They can also live from one to three years, are very active and cause feeding damage along with the larvae.


Red and confused flour beetles infest a wide variety of stored products, particularly those containing processed meal or flour. They are not able to infest whole seeds unless the seeds have already been broken open. Infestations often originate from birdseed, dry pet foods, baking ingredients, pasta, and spices, usually in the oldest, most difficult to reach packages.


The most important management step is to find and remove infested products. If help locating infested product is needed, floor pheromone traps are the most effective at capturing adults of these flour beetles. Adults may also hide around infested products in cracks and crevices, which can be treated with an appropriately labeled insecticide.

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Stored Product Pests: Identification & Management with Pheromones

Course Type: Technical

Time: 60 Minutes

From farmers to consumers, stored product pests cause monetary losses from the destruction of valuable food products. After completing this course, you should be able to recognize and the twelve most common stored product pests, understand their biology and communicate how pheromones fit into management programs.

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