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Elimination

Start by finding all infested containers and throw them out. It’s a good idea to put any uninfested products in airtight containers. The second step is to vacuum cracks and crevices in the pantry to remove seeds and concealed insects. Throw the vacuum cleaner bag out because the insects can continue multiplying in the bag. Finish up by applying a residual insecticide (liquid or powder) such as Maheu&Maheu Crawling insect Killer or Maheu&Maheu Insecticide Dust . Apply the insecticide to cracks and crevices in the pantry and adjacent areas. Do not wash treated surfaces for a month.

Actions

  • Put all food in sealed containers
  • Vacuum pantries and under appliances (empty receptacle/dispose of bag)
  • Spray or treat the perimeter of the kitchen with an insecticide as well as cracks and crevices in pantries

Prevention

  • Store food in sealed containers

Description and development

Confused flour beetles (Tribolium confusum Duv. ) are holometabolous insects in the darkling beetle family (Tenebrionidae ) of the order Coleoptera. They resemble saw-toothed grain beetles except that they have no projection (tooth) on either side of the thorax and are thick and stocky. The adult is a small, reddish-brown insect measuring a little over 3 mm (1/8") long. The larva looks like a small, yellowish worm about 6 mm (1/4") long. The female lays about 350 eggs and the larvae molt eight times before pupating and finally emerging as adults. The full lifecycle lasts about one month.

Habits

Larvae and adults both cause considerable damage. They also secrete a foul-smelling liquid that gives food a very unpleasant odor. They feed on flour products and are more often found in bakeries than in the home because they mainly attack raw ingredients.

For more information on flour beetles, please read issue 20 and issue 21 of our technical newsletter The Gatekeeper.

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