Red & Confused Flour Beetles

What do red and confused flour beetles look like?

a confused flour beetle on a white background

Red flour beetles and confused flour beetles are two of the most common species of flour beetles found invading homes. Both species are very similar in appearance. They are red-brown, winged, and grow to be about 1/8 of an inch in length. The best way to tell the two apart is by a microscopic difference found on their antennae. The red flour beetle’s antennae end suddenly in a 3-segmented club, while the confused flour beetle’s antennae widens out gradually from their head. Another difference between the two species is their flying ability. Although both have functional wings, the red flour beetle can be seen flying short distances while the confused flour beetle is never seen flying. The larvae of both species measure 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch in length, are yellow-white, and have a wiry, worm-like appearance.

Where are these beetles found?

Both species of flour beetle are commonly found invading homes, grocery stores, mills, and food processing facilities. They are unable to feed on whole kernels, so they are common pests of flour and cereal products. These beetles are not harmful to people, but will cause food inside Iowa & Illinois homes and pantries to become contaminated. Also, the food sources that they are invading will have a bad taste and odor associated with them. Both species of beetles are attracted to sources of light, and adults may enter buildings through cracks around windows and doors after being attracted by outdoor lighting.

What do red and confused flour beetles eat?

Red flour beetles and confused flour beetles both feed on a variety of things including flour (especially if it has a high moisture content), cereals, peas, beans, shelled nuts, chocolate, spices, dried fruits, dried herbs and spices, drugs, insects, and items that are on display at museums.

DIY red and confused flour beetle prevention and control tips

To prevent a red flour beetle or confused flour beetle infestation in your home’s kitchen or pantry you should always check food products that you are purchasing for holes or rips in the packaging. When you get items home from the store, it is a good idea to remove them from their original packaging and place items into plastic or glass containers that have tight-fitting lids. Routinely clean out the pantry to get rid of expired items and clean up crumbs and spills. To help prevent the beetles from entering your home on their own, caulk gaps around windows and doors and change white outdoor lights to yellow or sodium vapor lights that are less attractive to insects.

Professional beetle control

The pest control professionals at Quik-Kill Pest Eliminators have the training, skill, and equipment needed to safely eliminate these pantry pests from your home or business. Contact us today to learn more about our residential pest control and commercial solutions.

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