Who Else Has Been Eating My Cereal?

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Noticed any small beetles crawling on your counters or worse in your cereal? Pantry pests usually go unnoticed in the home until there is an infestation.

The Saw-Tooth Beetle, is a slender, dark brown beetle 2.5 to 3 mm long with six saw-like tooth projections on each side of the thorax (section between head and abdomen). These projections give the beetle its name.

Characteristics

  • The Saw-Tooth Beetle does not fly.
  • The Saw-Tooth Beetle is not attracted to light.
  • The Saw-Tooth Beetleā€™s flat body allows them to penetrate tiny cracks and infest stored food products.
  • The Saw-Tooth Beetle feeds on grain and grain products like cereal, flour, dried meats, breakfast foods, and dried fruit. It is not unusual to find these beetles infesting pet food and birdseed.

Reproduction

  • The female beetle deposits eggs in a crevice in a kernel of grain or on ground food, like flour.
  • When the small white eggs hatch, the larvae feed and grow by nibbling on finely divided food particles.
  • When the larvae are ready to change to adult beetles, they make a cocoon from the food particles.
  • With warm humid conditions, the life cycle (from egg to mature adult) takes 60 days.
  • With conducive conditions and food supply, the females can produce several generations per year.
  • The average life span of an adult Saw-Tooth Beetle is about 6 to 10 months.

Prevention

  • Use tightly sealed plastic or glass containers to store food. Store pet food in containers with a lid.
  • Clean and vacuum all cabinet and pantry shelves thoroughly, especially cracks and crevices.
  • Insecticide application should be made into cracks and crevices to eliminate any insects that might be hiding.

To avoid improper application, call a local pest control expert.

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