Type of pest: Primary pest, secondary pest.
Distribution: Worldwide, especially in temperate regions.
Identification: Adults are 3 – 4.5 mm, flattened, parallel-sided, reddish-brown, as Tribolium castaneum. The gap between eyes is 50% of head width. Segments of antennae gradually widen towards the tip. The structure between base of front legs is as Tribolium castaneum. The eye is divided, with the number of facets at narrowest point two, as Tribolium castaneum. Larvae: elateriform.
Similar species: Gnatocerus, Latheticus, other Tribolium. The term flour beetle is often used to describe one of two main classifications of the rust red flour beetles (tribolium castaneum) and the confused flour beetle (tribolium confusum). When identifying the insect the biggest distinguishing difference is their antennae shape. The adult rust red flour beetle can fly (only when stressed) whereas the confused flour beetle cannot fly.
Life cycle: Optimal developmental conditions 25 days at 32.5 ºC and 70% r.h. or higher. Eggs are laid amongst the commodity, and larvae are mobile, external feeders. Adults live long, feed on the commodity and can fly.
Commodities infested: cereal grain and products. These beetles may cause an allergic response, but are not known to spread diseases and cause no damage to structures or furniture. They can only eat damaged or milled grain and both are often introduced to a warehouse or production facility through infested flour deliveries.
Preventive measures include: keeping storage and production are clean and dry, maintaining relative humidity in storage between 40% and 60% and ensuring that packaging materials and pallets etc. are clean and dry before storage.
Treatment: Controlled Atmosphere for infestation in the product
Treatment: Heat Treatment for infestation in Building