Stored Product Pests

Stored product pests are found living in dried products such as dried fruits, spices, flour, bran, peas, dried vegetables, dried flowers, grain, cereal products, dog food, nuts, candy, macaroni and other similar products. Stored product pests contaminate far more food than they eat and are common in food processing plants as well as domestic settings.

 

Stored Product Pests Identification

The most common stored product pests are the red and confused flour beetle, the saw toothed and merchant grain beetle, and the Indian meal moth. The adult beetle is about 3 mm long and is reddish-brown. The confused flour beetle is often mistaken with the red flour beetle but the antennae of the confused flour beetle is gradually enlarged whereas the red flour beetle's antenna enlarges abruptly to form a three segmented club. The confused flour beetle is more common than the red flour beetle.

Stored Product Pests Habitat

The confused flour beetle is commonly found in cereal products, dried fruits, spices and similar products. This grain beetle is found in such foods as breakfast cereals, flour, dried fruits, macaroni, dried meats, chocolate and other similar material. They have the ability to penetrate any cracks and crevices to get into packaged food. The larva feeds on all kinds of grains, seeds, powdered milk, dog food, crackers, candy, nuts chocolate and dried fruit.

Stored Product Pests Life Cycle

Each female flour beetle may lay as many as 300 to 400 eggs in her three-year life time. The adult Indian meal moth female lays her eggs on the larval food producing as many as 400 in 18 days. There are usually four to six generations per year depending on the food supply and temperature conditions.

Stored Product Pests Prevention

Regular inspection of stored products in the home or food plant and inspection of such products prior to entry into the facility should take place. This inspection and disposal of infested product along with good housekeeping practices will limit chance of infestation.

Preparation Steps for Stored Product Pests Treatment

1. Completely clear kitchen cupboards of all dishes and food. Drawers can be removed.

2. Place food in the refrigerator and the rest of it on the dining room table. Make sure the kitchen counter is cleared.

3. All dried food products should be inspected for infestation. Infested foods should be disposed of or placed in a freezer for at least one week. Foods not infested should be placed in plastic containers with tight-fittings lids.

4. Vacate the premises during service and do not re-enter until at least 4 hours after treatment. Open windows for 20 minutes after re-entry if possible.

5. Before service, infants, pregnant women and people suffering from heart, kidney, respiratory aliments or allergies should consult a medical doctor.

Download Store Products Preparation Sheet

Stored Product Pests - Questions and Answers

What are the most common stored product pests?

The most common stored product pests are the red and confused flour beetle, the saw toothed and merchant grain beetle, and the Indian meal moth.

What do the red and confused flour beetle look like?

The adult beetle is about 3 mm long and is reddish-brown. The confused flour beetle is often mistaken with the red flour beetle but the antennae of the confused flour beetle is gradually enlarged whereas the red flour beetle's antenna enlarges abruptly to form a three segmented club. The confused flour beetle is more common than the red flour beetle.

Where would I find the confused flour beetle?

The confused flour beetle is commonly found in cereal products, dried fruits, spices and similar products.

What are the confused flour beetle's breeding habits?

Each female flour beetle may lay as many as 300 to 400 eggs in her three-year life time.

What do the merchant and saw-toothed grain beetle look like?

These grain beetles are a small brownish beetle approximately 3 mm long. They are easily distinguished by the six saw-like projections on each side of the thorax. The saw-toothed and merchant can be distinguished by the width of the saw projection on either side of the head. The saw-toothed grain beetle is the most common of the two.

Where would I find the saw-toothed grain beetle?

This grain beetle is found in such foods as breakfast cereals, flour, dried fruits, macaroni, dried meats, chocolate and other similar material. They have the ability to penetrate any cracks and crevices to get into packaged food.

What does an Indian meal moth look like?

Adults of the Indian meal moth have a wing span of about 1.5 cm. The front wings are tan the front one-third are reddish brown with a copper lustre on the back two-thirds. The larva is a dirty white colour with a sometimes green to pink tint.

Where would I find the Indian meal moth?

The larva feeds on all kinds of grains, seeds, powdered milk, dog food, crackers, candy, nuts chocolate and dried fruit.

What are the breeding habits of the Indian meal moth?

The adult female lays her eggs on the larval food producing as many as 400 in 18 days. There are usually four to six generations per year depending on the food supply and temperature conditions.

How can I prevent an infestation of stored product pests?

Regular inspection of stored products in the home or food plant and inspection of such products prior to entry into the facility should take place. This inspection and disposal of infested product along with good housekeeping practices will limit chance of infestation.


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