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Rust-red flour beetle

Key features

The adult length is 3 - 4.5 mm.

The shape is elongated; the antennae have a distinct three - segmented club.

The colour is reddish brown.

Easily mistaken for the confused flour beetle.

The cylindrical wiry larva is 4 - 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 over 500 eggs which are deposited in the foodstuff.

Adults frequently congregate in large numbers along the folds of food packaging. Under very warm conditions the adults will fly.

At the optimum temperature of  35 ’c  the life cycle takes less than 3 weeks. Development proceeds between  22’c  and 35 ’c , the minimum relative humidity required is 1%. Under ideal conditions, populations may increase 60 times per month.

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


Number of days spent as:

Egg…….….………………….3 - 14

Larva……………….….…….12 - 60

Pupa………………………….4 - 14

Adult female……….…………450

Adult male……………………600


This species will die out during winter in unheated premises in the UK.


Distribution

Oriental in origin but now found in most of the warmer parts of the world. Only survives in the UK in heated conditions.


Significance

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


It has been recorded from a wide range of commodities including oilseeds and their products, groundnuts, bones, spices, drugs, chocolate and dried fruits.


These beetles are unable to feed on undamaged grain.


Control

Please call East Lancashire Pest Control on 0800 023 6116