Subject: Tenacious ”grain” beetle
Location: Columbus ohio
September 21, 2013 5:10 pm
We cannot make these go away! We clean and toss everything and they come back to our kitchen pantry. As it happens we are getting new cabinets and do not want to see them on our new shelves!!! Help
Signature: Beetle mania

Grain Beetle

Grain Beetle

Dear Beetle mania,
We believe this is most likely a Merchant Grain Beetle,
Oryzaephilus mercator, but we would not discount that it is the closely related Sawtooth Grain Beetle, Oryzaephilus surinamensis.  Both species of Grain Beetles have similar habits, and according to BugGuide, they feed upon:  “larvae and adults feed on damaged kernels of stored grains: barley, oats, rice, sunflower seeds, and wheat, plus flour, pasta, breakfast cereals, cake mixes, and various other processed foods.”  If you cabinets are very old, it is possible that over the years, flour and other pantry items have spilled into cracks and has filled nooks and crannies in the cabinetry that is sustaining a population of Grain Beetles even if you have discarded all items that might be feeding them.  Hopefully replacing the cabinets will solve your problem.

Grain Beetles

Grain Beetles

We certainly hope so, thank you so much!
Misha Z.


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Location: Columbus, Ohio

9 Responses to Grain Beetles

  1. Dou says:

    We just had to get rid of a bunch of pasta wheat like oatmeal and that such. I saw the image on the Internet. How do we get rid of these bugs. Would a bug trap of some sort work. Please let me know as soon as you can thank you

    • bugman says:

      If you have large numbers, you need to locate the stored foods that are infested and remove that food from the pantry.

  2. Doug says:

    Don’t bother trying to drown a grain beetle they can crawl out of the water.

  3. Misagp says:

    My husband wrote to me today, “One of the black bugs hitched a ride to work in my lunch bag today, and I found him after he had survived 2 minutes in the microwave. I opened the door and he was walking around on the glass plate. They may be harder to get rid of than we think.”
    We are moving to a new house and hoped to leave them all behind, but I’m sure some will come with us. What can be done to really be rid of these pantry beetles? I know you don’t advise extermination, but they’re happy to eat crumbs or invisible stuff on toys. Then again, I don’t want to cover everything I own with pesticides either.

    • bugman says:

      Not moving any stored food and keeping stored grain products for only short periods of time in the new home should help.

  4. Chesdarith says:

    The sawtoothed grain beetle is not attracted to light and it does not fly. There is a related insect, the merchant grain beetle. The fact that the merchant grain beetle can fly is used as a way to tell them apart.

  5. Barbie says:

    Hey bugman, I think I have one for you, the Indianmeal moth. How do I get rid of it?

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