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Confused Flour Beetles

Active Seasons

Appearance and Size Facts

  • Confused Flour beetles are reddish-brown in color and have a flat body
  • Antennae end in a three-segmented club with the end being abrupt
  • Found in less temperate areas than the Red Flour beetle
  • Also it's found in greater numbers in the northern United States
  • Size: Very small, roughly 1/8 inch long
  • Known as "bran bugs" because they primarily attack milled grain products such as flour and cereals

Behavior and Habitat

Female beetles each lay 300 to 400 eggs in flour or other foods during a period of five to eight months. Within 5 to 12 days, these eggs hatch into slender larvae. The larval period varies from 22 to more than 100 days, and pupation takes about 8 days. Adults can live for 3 years or more. The Confused Flour beetle is a scavenger and must rely on other insects to damage grain before it can feed on it. Because of this beetles small size, it frequently invades storage containers. These beetles breed in damaged grain, grain dust, high-moisture wheat kernels, flour, etc. They are prolific and quite damaging.

Signs of Infestation

Sighting of small tubular beetles near stored products or in the product can indicate activity.

Tips for Prevention

Discard any food that is infested. Vacuum the shelves of all pantries and cabinets where food is stored and store food in sealed containers. Most times, removing the source of the infestation is enough to manage the pest.

Confused Flour Beetle Gallery

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