Bug Blog

How To Recognize Sawtoothed Grain Beetles And The Damage They Inflict To Stored Food Items

Stored food pests can be the most common and frustrating insect infestations people have to deal with in their homes. It can be very difficult to keep your pantry completely free of these pests, and they can cause a good bit of damage to your stored food products. The saw-toothed grain beetle is a major pantry pest, and one you should definitely be keeping an eye on in case it finds its way inside your home.

Saw-toothed grain beetles are dark brown in color, fairly small at only ⅛ inch in length, and have a very elongated, flattened body shape. Their most distinguishable feature are the six saw-tooth shaped projections along both sides of their thorax. The larvae are yellowish white in color with a brown head, and their body looks like that of a typical, elongated worm with sparse hairs spread throughout.

Saw-toothed grain beetles will infest a large variety of stored food products inside your pantry and any other nearby rooms. Both the adult beetles and the grubs attack stored foods, making this beetle a double threat compared to most stored food pests that only present a threat to your food in their larval stage. Adults will lay their eggs loosely on a stored food product. Once the eggs hatch, the grubs and adult beetles will then feed together on the food product until they run out and have to find another stored food product to consume. The adult beetles will happily chew right through paper or plastic packaging to get to the food inside, and when the adults and grubs bore through these food products, they leave behind small holes in their wake and can ultimately reduce the entire product to a fine powder if left to their own devices for long enough.

Once adult beetles find a viable food product to infest, they will continue to produce more larvae until they are eliminated or have exhausted their current food source, forcing them to move on to the next one. If an infestation grows large enough, these pests can actually cause the stored food products to increase in temperature, causing mold to grow and the flavor and quality of the food to suffer. These guys can cause some of the most serious damage of any pantry pest. If there is one stored food pest you want to watch out for, it is most certainly the saw-toothed grain beetle.

Have you ever come across an infestation of saw-toothed grain beetles in your stored food products?