Grain Beetles

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.

 

Photo of author

bugman

BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

9 thoughts on “Grain Beetles”

  1. 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

    Reply
  2. 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.

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

      Reply
  3. 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.

    Reply

Leave a Comment