Merchant Grain Beetles in Northern Utah
The merchant grain beetle is a common stored products pest found throughout the United States in homes, grocery stores, food warehouses, and grain storage facilities. Similar in appearance to the sawtoothed grain beetle, the merchant grain beetle has the ability to fly, while the sawtoothed grain beetle does not. They are incapable of attacking sound grain kernels and often occur in food previously infested by other stored product pests. Their flattened body allows them to easily penetrate broken kernels of grain and packaged materials. Not only do they contaminate food, they often cause mold problems due to moisture build-up.
Merchant Grain Beetle Habitat
Merchant grain beetles are commonly found in food manufacturing, storage, retail facilities, and home pantries. These stored product pests can infest and contaminate breakfast foods, cereals, macaroni, candy, chocolate, sugar, cake mixes, brownie mixes, nuts, dried pet food, bread, rolled oats, biscuits, cornmeal, and other dry goods. A single female can lay up to 250 eggs within cracks of kernels of grain. As with other pantry insects, it is the larvae that do most of the damage, however, the adult is most commonly encountered. A typical discovery of a merchant grain beetle infestation occurs when adult beetles are discovered crawling around a pantry area.
Merchant Grain Beetle Behaviors, Threats or Dangers
Merchant grain beetles do not bite or sting and are not known to carry or transmit any diseases to humans. They are nuisance pests and will contaminate and damage food that is stored in the home. Adults can readily enter sealed cardboard boxes and soft plastic packaging. Merchant grain beetles typically enter homes in products purchased from grocery stores that are already infested with larvae or adults. The primary infestation usually originates at the manufacturing facility where the product was produced. If you suspect a merchant grain beetle issue on your property, contact your local exterminators.