Flour Beetles

If you take pride in your kitchen and have come across flour beetles, then you’ll know all too well that these sneaky pests are not a good addition to your home. 

These beetles are typically found in pantries and tend to invade the entire space once you’ve reached the point of infestation. As the name suggests, they are drawn towards flour, and, unfortunately, it’s challenging to try and avoid them because these pests can enter your home just because they found their way to you from the mill itself. If you happen to see and identify them physically, then you’re probably in trouble since the beetles may have probably reached a stage of full growth by that time. This is because the eggs are tough to spot in the flour bag and flour, suggesting an infestation. 

If this scenario sounds like a personal story of your own, keep reading to learn more about the flour beetle, the different types that there are, as well what future corrective steps you can take to prevent them from getting into your home. 

Flour Beetles Identification

Widely used in laboratories as lab animals, this easy-to-keep beetle forms part of the darkling beetle genera Tribolium (Tenebrio) family. Adult flour beetles have a shiny body surface to them, are flat, and reddish-brown in color. Being roughly 1/7″ in length, they can be classified as busybodies. They eat grains, including wheat, and enjoy staying in areas that are very dry and are exposed to high levels of radiation. 

They are regarded as very invasive pests that are immune to insecticides and common types that we can find in Maine and comprise of the red flour beetle as well as the confused flour beetle. The red flour beetle and confused flour beetle enjoy nesting themselves in flour and, sometimes, even processed grains. 

Suppose you’re already concerned about possible diseases that we can get from being exposed or infested with these. In that case, we can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that flour beetles don’t spread or carry any diseases that can be harmful to human beings. 

Why Are Flour Beetles a Problem?

Flour beetles are more of a nuisance than anything else. They can penetrate through cardboard materials, paper, and plastic, eventually infesting your pantry as a whole. With early spotting, homeowners can confine the flour beetles to a bag of flour. If, however, you’re late, you may end up sharing your very own bedroom with them. 

How Can You Prevent Flour Beetles?

Before considering pest control, here are a few DIY ways that you can use to prevent a flour beetle infestation

  • Always check your flour and other purchased grains: Be on the lookout for flour that has an off-color to it or an unusual smell. Obviously if it has bugs or larvae that you have spotted or tiny holes in the bag then that’s an issue. If you suspect an infestation, close the flour bag in a plastic bag and throw it away with immediate effect. Since flour beetles do contaminate spaces, be sure to check other items in your pantry as well. 
  • Check your pantry regularly: If you have some old items that you have neglected for a while in the pantry, throw them away. 
  • Just buy enough: There’s nothing wrong with purchasing in bulk, however, buy in reasonable quantities to avoid having food items sitting in the pantry for too long. 
  • Keep your pantry clean: Monitor your pantry regularly and maintain good sanitation practices. 

Types Of Flour Beetles

Red Flour Beetles
  • Red in color with a shiny surface
  • Flat with an oval shaped body
  • Have wings
Confused Flour Beetles
  • Reddish-brown in color
  • The head and upper thorax are covered in tiny holes
  • They have wings but don’t fly
Destructive Flour Beetles
  • Dark brown in color
  • 5mm to 6mm in length


Pro Tip

“Flour beetles can survive off of even the tiniest bit of spilled grains or flours, so keep your kitchen clean.”

How to Manage Flour Beetle Infestation

If you’re reading this right now, it’s probably because you want to know more about how to control these pests that have found a home in your pantry. Here are some DIY tips and tricks that you can use to manage and eliminate these flour beetles in your home. 

Check for Signs of Infestation

You need to do a thorough inspection. Use our flour beetles identification information to identify them. You can begin in your pantry since that’s their primary breeding ground and move on to check food items like grain packages, flour, spices and herbs, pet food, and starchy foods, the cabinets and shelves in your kitchen too. 

Remove Infested Items

If you find infested items, throw them away with immediate effect. Also, once you spot one bag with the bugs, be sure to check all other items as well. 

Clean Up Your Pantry

Maintaining proper sanitation in your home can help in controlling the infestation of flour beetles in your home. Use regular household helpers like the vacuum cleaner and soaked clothes to get in on those hard-to-reach spots and clean off any excess dirt. 

Use Insecticides

We have tetramethrin, cyfluthrin, resmethrin, and permethrin which are helpful household sprays that you can use to spray in those hard-to-reach places like cracks and corners. 

Hire a Professional Pest Examinator

If these DIY tricks are not helping enough, then you can choose to get in touch with a pest control specialist living in your area. 

Visit Pest Guide Today To Learn More About Flour Beetles

If you’re suddenly feeling overwhelmed by these little pests and have some questions. Visit pest guide as soon as possible. Here, you’ll find different beneficial resources on addressing issues concerning how to control pests in your home. Visit the website and book your appointment with a professional today.

Flour Beetles FAQs

1- Do flour beetles bite humans?

No, flour beetles do not bite humans. 

2- Do flour beetles carry diseases that are harmful to humans?

No, flour beetles do excrete larvae; however, it’s nothing to be concerned about as it isn’t harmful to humans.

3- What is the lifespan of a confused flour beetle?

An adult confused flour beetle can live for up to three years with a life cycle of 40 to 90 days.