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Sawtoothed Grain Beetles

(Oryzaephilus surinamensis)

Appearance

Sawtoothed grain beetles are reddish-brown in color. They are flattened and have six sawtooth-like projections on each side of the prothorax.

Size

1/10-inch long.

Behavior

The Sawtoothed grain beetle is a scavenger and can not fly. Adults and larvae are external feeders, feeding on finely divided food particles and not whole grains. Large populations of this beetle can develop quickly, forcing adult beetles to seek new food sources. They have been known to invade every package or food stored near an infested food product.

Sawtoothed grain beetle adults usually live about 6 to 10 months, with some living as long as 3 years. Females usually emerge in April and lay an average of 300 eggs. Egg laying begins about 5 days after emergence and continues up to 3 to 4 weeks. Eggs hatch in about 8 days, larvae mature in 37 days, and pupa about 67 days. They prefer cereal-based products.

Habitat

The Sawtoothed grain beetle is common in stored-food products such as cereal, cornmeal, cornstarch, popcorn, rice, dried fruits, raisins, flour, pet foods, bran, macaroni, sugar, and bread. They are capable of chewing into unopened paper or cardboard boxes, through cellophane, plastic, and foil wrapped packages. Once inside, populations build up rapidly often spreading to other stored foods and into food debris accumulated in the cupboard corners.

Interesting Facts

Sawtoothed grain beetles contaminate more food than they consume, and usually are discovered leaving the infested foods to crawl about the house. Its varied food preferences make it one of the most commonly encountered stored product beetles.

Control

Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!

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