Confused and Red Flour Beetle Control

Tribolium castaneumConfused and red flour beetles are also known as bran bugs. Their size is about 1/8 inch long and their eggs are whitish/colorless and microscopic in size. They have flat, long and shiny reddish-brown bodies with 2 small antennae. The red flour beetle can fly while confused flour beetles cannot that’s why red flour beetles can easily spread and affect more grains than the confused flour beetles.

Both the confused and red flour beetles go through a complete metamorphosis. The females lay eggs then hatch into brownish-white larvae, and after the transformation phase, it will become pupae and develop into a fully mature beetle.

Confused and red flour beetles attacks and damage stored flour and milled grain products like cereals, biscuits, nuts, pasta, beans, etc. Both adults and larvae bran bugs feed on grain dust but not the whole grain kernels.

These kinds of pests may trigger an allergic reaction but do not spread diseases nor damage houses or furniture. They also don’t bite nor sting humans.

Confused flour beetles are the most abundant flour mill pest in the United States.

Red flour beetles prefer moderate weather while confused flour beetles prefer cooler areas. The red flour beetles are believed to have Indo-Australian roots and prominent in Southern states while the confused flour beetles originated in Africa and prominent in the Northern United States although they’re now distributed worldwide.

Antennae of both species also differs: the red flour beetles have 3 segments while confused flour beetles have 4 segments

The name “confused” is not because of the walking pattern but due to being confused with the red flour beetle

Both confused and red flour beetles damage the food by feeding on it and by having fecal pellets, dead beetle bodies and foul smell that encourages the growth of mold. These beetles are also found in cabinets and cracks in pantries.

To control these kinds of beetles, you should inspect your kitchen including cabinets, cracks and stored foods. All infested products should be thrown away then vacuum the area to remove food particles. The newly stored food should be properly sealed to prevent new infestations.

You may also use insecticides to eliminate the ones that are hiding or call a pest control professional for a more thorough inspection.