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Confused Flour Beetle


Key features

The adult beetle length is 3 to 4.5 m.


The shape is elongated; the antennae have a gradual five-segmented club.


It is easily mistaken for rust-red flour beetle, which has distinct three-clubbed antennae.


The cylindrical wiry larva is 4 to 5 mm long when fully grown and is white tinged with yellow. It has a pair of immovable projections, urogomphi, on the final abdominal segment.


Biology

The female lays 500 to 1000 eggs, producing 2 or 3 per day. Eggs are deposited in the food material.


Adults frequently congregate in large numbers along the folds of food packaging.


Although these beetles have wings, they fly rarely if at all.


At the optimum temperature of 32.5°c the life cycle takes 4 weeks. Development proceeds between 21°c and 33°c; the minimum relative humidity required 1%. Under ideal conditions, populations may increase 70 times per month.


In common with other insects; development times are influenced by temperature,relative humidity, moisture content, quantity and quality of food. The following figures are therefore only a guide.


Number of days spent as:

Egg..................................4-30

Larva...............................15-98

Pupa................................5-22

Adult female...................435

Adult male......................540


Distribution

African in origin but now spread throughout the world in regions suitable for its temperature requirements.


Significance

It is one of the most common beetle pests of stored products, a major pest of cereals in particular.


A very common pest in flour mills in the UK.


It has been recorded on peas, beans, spices, drugs, chocolate, dried fruits, ground nuts, and bones.


These beetles are unable to feed on undamaged grain.


Control

Please call East Lancashire Pest Control on 0800 023 6116