It’s the beetles: Pests in your kitchen

Winter is the time when people find unwanted insect pests now living in the kitchen. Specifically, there are several flour beetles that can make their home in food storage areas.

These small, dark, reddish-brown beetles are about one-eighth of an inch long. The adult beetles can be found wandering on counter tops and pantry shelves or in cabinets.

The cream-colored larvae are found in finely ground grains like flour or cracker meal. These flour beetles don’t eat whole grains, only pieces or crushed food. They might also be found in nuts, dried fruit or spices.

If adult beetles or larvae are found, it’s time to look at all the products that could be infested. Check both open and sealed food products and store good food in airtight containers, the refrigerator or freezer. Discard any that have signs of insects or damage. Buy products in small amounts and containerize them until you are sure the problem is over.

Learn more about Indian meal moths and flour beetles by visiting the website of MSU Diagnostic Services and selecting on their home page Insects and Arthropods. Select Indian meal moth or flour beetles for up-close-and-personal photos and more information.

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