WHAT ARE FOREIGN GRAIN BEETLES?
The foreign grain beetle is a fungi, moisture, and decay pest beetle that loves feasting on dry foods like grain. They commonly infest midwestern homes during the fall.
Adult foreign grain beetles are flat, reddish-brown, hard-shelled beetles that are very small (with around 1/12” long). You may mistake these beetles for fleas or lice, but unlike those pests, foreign grain beetles have wings. These wings fold under their wing covers, or elytra, whenever the beetle isn’t flying. Adult foreign grain beetles are very adept flyers.
Mature larvae are also 1/8“ long, but they’re a yellowish-white color and have an elongated, smooth-bodied appearance. They may resemble small, cream-colored worms. Larvae darken to their adult coloration during and after pupation.
Adult female foreign grain beetles usually lay eggs one a time or in clusters of two and three. Females can lay 100 to 300 eggs in just 135 days. These eggs hatch after only four days. The foreign grain beetle is a prolific breeder.
Foreign grain beetles are opportunistic scavengers. They feed on plant and animal debris and the fungi that grows it. They also feast on damp and moldy grains, which makes warm, humid interior spaces attractive. Bathroom mold, plumbing leaks, and pipe condensation can tempt the foreign grain beetle to invade a home. Light attracts adult foreign grain beetles at night, and they are swift, capable fliers.
CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Prevent mold from growing on dry foods by storing them in airtight plastic or glass containers. Keep all of your food storage environments as dry and secure as possible.
Keep your Homes at around 60% relative humidity by using dehumidifiers, improved ventilation, circulation, and air conditioning. Pay special attention to the humidity in your attic, crawl spaces, and basement. Repair structural issues and plumbing leaks and keep up with landscaping to reduce moisture sources inside and outside. A small, handheld vacuum cleaner can be used to remove beetles found in living spaces.
A Plunkett’s professional will start by searching for sources of moisture and possible beetle breeding sites within the home. We can help minimize foreign grain beetle populations by applying insecticide, aerosol, or dust formulations in suspected breeding sites.
Unfortunately, if dampness within the structure persists, these measures are temporary fixes. The best thing you can do to prevent foreign grain beetle infestations in your home is practice diligent humidity control. If your structure is particularly vulnerable to pest infestation, we may suggest you invest in a quarterly pest management program.
If you’re worried you have a foreign grain beetle problem, don’t hesitate to give Plunkett’s a call right away. We’ll find your beetles, wipe them out, and help you make sure they can’t get in again.