Confused Flour Beetle
IdentificationThe confused flour beetle is 3-4 mm in length, the larvae are about 6 mm long. The adult is red-brown in color and the larvae are a light honey colour and about. It resembles the rust-red flour beetle, except for the antennae which is four segmented and gradually thickens towards the tip - another slight difference is in the shape of the thorax. The sides of the rust-red flour beetle are curved, whereas the thorax of the confused flour beetle is straighter. It has well developed wings but seldom flies.
DescriptionThe confused flour beetle was named because of the confusion over its identity. It is a very common commercial and pantry pest. Feeds off grain, flour, and other cereal products, beans, cacao, cottonseed, shelled nuts, dried fruit, dried vegetables, drugs, spices, chocolate, dried milk and animal hides. They cannot feed on whole grain, but can feed on broken kernels that are usually present. Female lays between 400 - 500 eggs, with peak oviposition occurring during the first week. Adults may live longer than 3 years, and females may lay eggs for more than a year. Eggs are deposited directly in flour, other food material, or attached to the surface of the container. They are white or colorless and covered by a sticky material to which flour can adhere. Eggs hatch in 3 - 5 days at 32 - 35°C. Larvae burrow into kernels of grain but may leave their burrows in search of a more favorable food.