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Yellow mealwormbeetle

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Key features

The yellow mealworm beetle is one of the largest beetle pests of food. The name derives from the larva, which is yellowish in colour, and reaches up to 32 mm when fully grown. It carries a pair of dark upturned spines on the ninth abdominal segment.

Adults are about 13 mm long and are shiny dark brown or black. They have well developed wings.

The beetles are commonly misidentified as ground or garden beetles which they specifically resemble.


Biology

The life cycle of this pest is long compared to many other stored product pest. Mealworms thrive in dark, damp places.

The female lays up to 600 bean-shaped white eggs.

The larvae moult up to 20 times, sometimes leaving the development site to pupate, alternatively the pupae are found at the surface of the food material. There is only one generation per year, the winter is spent in the larval stage.

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


Number of days spent as:

Egg.………………………………..4 - 12

Larva………………………………180 - 550

Pupa.……….………………………6 - 30

Adult……………………………….60 - 90


Total development takes from 10 months to 2 years.



Distribution

This beetle is found worldwide and is thought  to have originated in Europe.


Significance

They are omnivorous and are a general scavenger as well as a pest of foodstuffs. They feed on cereals and their products, dead insects, meat scraps etc.


Their long life cycle and attraction to dark places means that they are often indicators of poor standards of hygiene.


 They may be associated with birds nests.


When larvae wander from the development site, packing materials and other commodities may become contaminated.


Control

Please call East Lancashire Pest Control on 0800 023 6116