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tiny sawtoothed grain beetle in st louis

Introduction

Sawtoothed grain beetles are a species of stored product pest. These pests feed on and destroy dry goods, grains, and cereals and can infest both homes and commercial facilities alike. They are commonly found throughout Missouri.

Recognition

The sawtoothed grain beetle get their name from the rows of saw-like teeth that are located on the first body segment located behind their head. These beetles are winged but they are not known to have the ability to fly. Adults grow to be about 1/8th of an inch in length and have a long, flattened, narrow shaped body; these beetles are generally brown in color.

The larvae of the sawtoothed grain beetle are worm-like in appearance; they are a bit smaller than the adults and are yellowish-white in color.

Biology

The life cycle of the sawtoothed grain beetle begins when the female lays her fertilized eggs in the cracks of grains or on top of items like cereal or flour. The larvae then hatch from the eggs in about 3-10 days, after about 50 days the larvae are ready to create a cocoon out of food particles and pupate- emerging as adults.

The entire life cycle of the sawtoothed grain beetle takes about two months and because of the sort life cycle there can be many generations produced each year. Adult females live on average 6-10 months and produce 45-285 eggs.

Habits

Sawtoothed grain beetles typically enter into homes in products that are purchased from stores which are already infested with the larvae or adults. The original infestation usually originates at the storage or packaging facility that the product came from.

The sawtoothed grain beetle’s flat body allows them to easily enter into broken kernels of grain and into food packaging. These beetles do not infest whole grains. Sawtoothed grain beetles typically feed on items that include breads, cereal, dry pasta, dried meats, candy, sugar, dried fruits, nuts, tobaccos, and other dry goods.

Sawtoothed grain beetles are not known to carry or transmit any dangerous diseases to people and do not bite or sting. They are considered to be nuisance pests, but will contaminate and damage food that is stored in your home.

 

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Prevention

There are several things that you can do to prevent problems with sawtoothed grain beetles in your Missouri home. Prevention tips include:

  • Inspecting food packaging for rips and tears before purchasing items from the grocery store.

  • When storing dry goods remove them from their original packaging and place them in glass or plastic containers with tight fitting lids.

  • Regularly rotate dry goods in your pantry discarding older or expired items.

  • Routinely clean up crumbs that are found in cabinets and pantries.

Control

The most effective way to control sawtoothed grain beetles around your property and in your home is through the help of a professional pest control expert. At Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions a trained technician will inspect your home or business and find areas of concern. If treatment for these pests is needed we will do so through our year-round home pest control services; treatment may include a spot treatment using a residual insecticide dust, or a crack and crevice treatment using non-residual or residual insecticide aerosol formulations.

Sources

http://www.clemson.edu/cafls/departments/esps/factsheets/household_structural/saw_toothed_grain_beetle_hs46.html

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/iiin/bsawtooth.html

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