Creature Feature

Moth Flies

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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Small flies and large filth flies are public health pests that are often difficult to manage. After completing the course, you should be able to understand the basic fly life cycle, identify major small and large filth fly pests, recognize their importance in public health and recommend the appropriate fly management methods (including finding maggots).

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