Facts, Identification & Control
Reddish brown, with flat, oblong body; wings covered by a thin shell; about 1/8″ long.
The confused flour beetle gets its name because it is often confused with its nearly identical relative the red flour beetle. The red flour beetle can fly whereas the confused flour beetle cannot. Both beetles are most common in processed grain products, where their flattened bodies permit them to work their way into almost any package. These packages make their way to stores, and eventually homes. Foods heavily infested by these beetles often develop a grayish tint and take on an unpleasant odor.
Flour beetles are scavengers that cannot attack whole grains—they must rely on other insects such as rice weevils or lesser grain borers to first damage the kernels. They are known as “bran bugs” because of their preference for flour and flour by-products. They’ve also been known to infest nuts, cereal, spices, and other grainy dry stored products.
Discard all infested packages. Clean spilled grain and infested cabinet areas using a vacuum followed by soapy water. Store all dried food goods in zipper plastic bags, or a glass or plastic container with a tight lid to limit spreading if one food item becomes infested. Consider storing cereals and similar foods in the refrigerator to limit stored pantry pest problems. Wipe all sides of shelves with household cleaning solution and pull out stove and refrigerator to access and remove possible food debris beneath appliances as well. Eliminating the insect’s food source is a good start to getting rid of confused flour beetles.
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