Flour Beetles: Facts and How to Get Rid

Flour beetles are among some of the most common pantry pests that many people will deal with like many stored product pests.

They can invade products from the food packing facility to the grocery store. Then spread throughout homes, pantry large.

Infestations of flour beetles can potentially cause hundreds of dollars in food damage. So in this article, we will show you how to identify and treat flour beetles, so your pantry can stay free of these pests. 


Flour Beetles Facts

The flour beetle is a unique insect with lots of fascinating facts. According to Wikipedia, this insect is a member of the darkling beetle genera known as Tribolium or Tenebrio.

A further study tells that flour beetles are mostly used as laboratory research animals and they are cereal silos pests which makes them easy to breed.

The flour beetles can consume a lot of grains, and wheat within a short time frame. They are among the top 5 most common agricultural pests infesting agric and food industry.

This is as a result of their ability to adapt to a dry environment, survive a high amount of radiation, and are resistant to insecticides.


Flour Beetles – Gettyimages


Flour Beetles Life Cycle

As we mentioned earlier,  the flour beetles can adapt to very dry places and as a result, they spend most of their time in warm places throughout the year.

At a stage when they are fully grown, their larvae are called T.molitor, are now known to be mealworms. Medical science tells that flour beetles take part in the life cycle of a tapeworm scientifically known as Hymenolepis nana.

When mating, the female flour beetles (T.castaneum) chooses very attractive different males to mate with, this takes place within a space of 40 – 90 days which is their lifecycle.

All adult flour beetles can live for about 2 – 3 years before death.


Flour Beetles Size

While researching for this article, I did a questionnaire on flour beetles size and distributed it around. It was amazing to know that most people think that beetles generally cannot fly.

In the case of flour beetles, they fly perfectly due to their flattened dark brown body. The flour beetle is about 1/8 – 3/16 inches long, it has antennae clubbed gradually.

Sometimes, they can appear to be oval in shape, and shiny reddish-brown in color.


Flour Beetle Species

Below are the various species of beetles related to the flour beetle:

  • Aphanotus brevicornis is known as a North American flour beetle
  • Tribolium castaneum is known as the red flour beetle
  • Tribolium confusum is known as the confused flour beetle
  • Tribolium destructor is known as the destructive flour beetle
  • Tenebrio molitor is known as yellow mealworm beetle
  • Tenebrio obscurus is known as dark mealworm beetle


How to Identify Flour Beetles Infestation

The first thing you should do in any pest control plan is identifying what exactly you’re dealing with.

Careless Identification can lead to wrong treatment methods, costing your time and money.

Flour beetles are tiny reddish-brown oval-shaped, insects that only grow to be about an eighth of an inch.

You’ll notice three distinct body segments, the head thorax, and the abdomen, you’ll see the beetles of light truck or its protective wing coverings.

There are two types of flour Beetle. The red flour beetle and confused flour Beetle. While they may look nearly identical.

Insects are considered to be of different species, to tell the two apart, you’ll need a magnifying glass.

The red flour beetle has a distinctly club-shaped antenna with three segments, the confused flour beetles antenna has a more gradual club-shaped with four segments despite being different species.

Both insects can be treated the same, so it may not be necessary to pull out your magnifying glass.

However, it is important to be able to identify what you’re dealing with. Flour beetles when opposed to other stored products it may require different approaches to treatment.


Flour Beetle Inspection

Inspection is the next phase of any good pest control plan. Below are the steps for efficient inspection.

  • Once, you know what your pest looks like.
  • Check around your property to confirm their presence or find hotspots of activity to confirm flour beetle activity.
  • Look in and around your pantry or where packaged foods are stored. You may see a few beetles wandering the shelves but focus on finding the source of your investigation.
  • Commonly infected foods include flour, grain, or cereal products. They have also been known to infest, dried fruits, vegetables, beans, and spices.
  • Be sure to also check any drawers and shelving for cracks and crevices. Flour beetles can hide in.
  • Take note of which foods are infested or where you’ve seen them passing as you’ll use this information to direct your treatments.


Flour Beetle Treatment

After identifying, your past and inspecting for activity on your property. It’s time to start treatment, but before starting any treatment.

1. Safety First

Ensure all people and pets are off the treated areas until dry before starting your treatment.

2. Trashing Infested Food

You need to clear out your pantry, start by throwing out Boxton bag foodstuffs. That sounds excessive. But if you found at least one infested package, the odds are there are flour beetles in your other packaged foods.

3. Seal all Gaps and Holes

Flour beetles move through tiny gaps and holes in the packaging. This allows them to spread throughout an entire pantry with ease.

Once those foods are tossed, they proceed to remove and set aside everything else. Next, wrecking all cracks, and crevices in your pantry.

4. Shelving

If your shelving is adjustable, clean out the peg holes with a toothpick and vacuum. Small pantry pests may be found in these tight spaces as a travel from place to place.

Note: Be sure to throw out the vacuums bag or clean the canister. When you’re done wipe down the pantry shelves with water to clean up.

For any food residue, do not use any strong cleaners or bleach as these will keep pests away from the pesticides that you’ll soon apply once you’ve cleared and cleaned your pantry.


What are the Insecticides Used for Flour Beetles Control?

You’ll need to use insecticides label to flour beetles like pyrid aerosol and flex 10-10, then use traps like pro-pest moths and beetle traps to catch stragglers and monitor for further activity.

Pyrid is an insecticide aerosol that’s often used as a flushing agent and it’s great for tight cracks and crevices where flour beetles, or other pests may be hiding for a quick kill.

This product is made with pyrethrins a botanical insecticide, and so it’s safe to use in food storage areas.

So, you should still clear out your pantry and keep people and pets away from the area until the papers have dispersed.

Pyrid is also labeled for the treatment of pests around the home like cockroaches, spiders, wasps, bed bugs, and more.

So, it’s a great tool to have on hand.


How to Use Pyrid Insecticide

To use pirate as a crack and crevice treatment.

  • Just remove the white applicator attach the provided red applicator.
  • Make sure the straw is firmly affixed in the spout
  • Shake the can and spray along the length of any cracks and crevices in your pantry or where flour beetles could be hiding when treating cracks and crevices.
  • You just want to spray in quick bursts usually about one second of spray per foot.
  • Pyrid does not leave a residual, but it is an excellent contact.


How to use Flex 10-10 Insecticide

Flex 10-10 is a liquid insecticide concentrate label to treat flour beetles and many other insects under regular conditions.

Flex 10-10 can have a residual of up to 30 days which will ensure straggling pests and future infestations are kept under control.

Flex 10-10 is labeled to control, many pests indoors and out. So you can also use it to protect your home from other potential pests.



  • For infestations, we recommend you use a hand pump sprayer since you’ll be making an indoor application.
  • I recommend you use a rate of 3.2 fluid ounces per gallon of water. If you’re experiencing a heavy infestation of flour beetles, you may use 6.4 fluid ounces to a pump sprayer.
  • Open the sprayer. Add half a gallon of water and add your measured amount of flex 10-10.
  • Then add the remaining half a gallon, close the sprayer.
  • Shake to ensure even distribution.
  • Pump your sprayer a couple of times to produce a low pressure.
  • Spray along the cracks and crevices in your pantry where you’ve seen flour beetle activity.


How to Get Rid of Flour Beetles

  • Using both pyrid and flex 10-10 insecticides, you’ll be able to kill any flour beetles spot in your pantry. Again, stragglers or future potential infestations will be eliminated.
  • Be sure to only spray these products in an empty pantry and allow your treatments to dry before moving on to the next step.
  • Once your chemical applications have dried, set up pro-pest moths and beetle traps in your pantry to catch stragglers.
  • These traps contain pheromones that attract many stored product pests and you can set them on shelves or hang them to trap different crawling or flying insects.
  • Simply peel off the wax paper.
  • Then fold the trap into a tense since we’re catching beetles.
  • Set these traps along the sides of the shelves.
  • One trap will cover an area of up to 300 square feet.
  • See any beetles around will be drawn to the trap and we’ll get stuck on the glue.


How to Prevent Flour Beetles from Returning

Prevention is essential to keeping pests in check. Even after you’ve applied pesticides, the best way to stop pest activity is to make sure it can’t happen.

  • Flex 10-10 residual will protect your pantry for up to 30 days’ employ. These other tips to prevent infestations in the future, if you can buy only about a week or two worth of food.
  • At a time, try not to overstock your pantry shelves because the longer something sits there, the more susceptible it becomes to infestation.
  • When buying dry Foods at the grocery store. Take a look at the packaging. If you can see the product, try to look for any flour beetles or other pests.
  • if you see any holes or rips tears, or other openings, that’s an obvious indicator to pass that item up.
  • When storing food, it is best to keep it in tight, fitting, or sealed containers.
  • Put cereals grains and flour in containers, that can be tightly are sealed. This is especially true for dry pet food, and birdseed which is often overlooked and extremely conducive for pantry pests.
  • So it’s important to store your pet food in a sealed container by keeping food stored in sealed containers.
  • You can stop infestations from spreading if an infestation starts inside a sealed container. That means the food was already infested with eggs before it went in and you can throw it out without risking the rest of your pantry.
  • Keep up with regular, pesticide applications to ensure protection throughout the year. Continue to apply flex 10-10 every 30 days and be sure to check traps regularly. Replacing them every three months.
  • Flour beetles are small yet destructive. It can cost us hundreds of food damage but there are ways of controlling infestation that’s gone out of hand.



Flour beetles infesting your home could cause lots of damage, ensure your home is too hot for them to breed by following this guide carefully.

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