Beetles are about 3 mm long and are brownish in color. They have six teeth-like appendages on each side of the chest. Some species of beetles are almost identical and can only be identified by their antennae.
Depending on the incubation temperature, a female beetle can lay up to 500 eggs a few days after mating. The larvae hatch after one week and can take from 1 to 10 months to develop into adult form, depending on environmental factors. The adult beetle can live up to 3 1/2 years.
Habitat and Food
Beetles live in dry foods such as vegetables and dried fruits, spices, flour, wheat, peas, seeds, grains and others. In the home, the pantry and the kitchen cabinets are the most common places where beetles can be found.
Beetles are avid food raiders. They are very common and destructive pests found in food warehouses, grocery stores and houses, in short, any place where dry food is stored. Dispose of all infested food.
Signs of Infestation
The adult beetle leaves a foul discharge on certain foods such as grain and flour consequently making them inedible. Beetles also tear and puncture any type of wrapper or cardboard. The beetle’s larvae may leave their skins behind in foods they’ve soiled.
Preparation Steps for a Treatment
- Empty the pantry. Place food in the refrigerator and the rest on a table. Make sure you take everything off of the kitchen counter.
- All dry food should be inspected. If signs of infestation are found in certain foods, they must be discarded. Healthy foods should be placed in sealed containers.
- Plan to leave your home for the duration of the treatment and return only after 4 hours. Wherever possible, open windows for 20 minutes upon your return. It is also important to not walk barefoot on treated areas for 48 hours after treatment.