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Some Common Stored Pests

 
 
Grain weevils (Sitophilus spp.)
 

Grain weevils include three species of small weevils:

  • The rice weevil (Sitophilus Oryzae)
  • Granary weevil (Sitophilus Granarius)
  • Maize weevil (Sitophilus Zeamais)

They are common stored grain pests, which sometimes infest whole kernel grain foods in our pantries. The larvae or grubs develop inside of whole corn, wheat and rice kernels. The adult weevils emerge through tiny, round holes in the kernels. These holes are the evidence that a product is infested with grain weevils.

 
   
 
Coffee bean weevil
 
Appearance
This compact beetle is 1.5-4 mm long, dark brown with light brown spots and long antennae. The footless slim larvae is curved and hairy and grows to a length of 5-6 mm
Life History
The beetle flies to fields and lays its eggs on damaged cobs. Larvae bore into coffee beans in which they pupate.
Distribution
It is found in coastal countries of the tropics and sub-tropics.
Damage
Mainly to corn, cocoa, coffee beans, dried fruits, nutmegs, ginger, etc. in tropical stores. Is transported to the temperate zones in cocoa and coffee beans but generally does not survive there.

 
Cadelle or Bread Beetle
 


Description:
The adults are 1/3 inch long, black in color, flattened and have a constricted waist. Larvae have black heads, two horny projections at the end of the abdomen and are 3/4 inch long.

Damage:
Both larvae and adults feed on the germ. Larvae often migrate from grain to pupate in wood holes or other materials. This insect is less of a pest then it used to be, because of the switch from wooden to metal or concrete storage structures.

One of the largest grain-infesting beetles, can go without food for 52 days (adults) to 120 days (larvae). Larvae feed on a great variety of grains, as well as on flour, meal, biscuits and bread, vegetables, dried fruits, etc. When attacking grains such as wheat and oats, larvae usually confine themselves to the embryo, this being the softest part. Upon migrating from its food source in order to pupate, it occurs accidentally in such unusual places as books, balls of twine, carpet rolls, rugs and in bottles of milk. Also a serious pest in tobacco factories, it is found in bales of dry tobacco where it is claimed to bore in search of insect larvae. It then pupates or hibernates by hollowing out a cell in the adjacent wood and can remain in the wood or empty bins for months to emerge and re-infest fresh grain placed in these bins. This wood-boring habit of the larvae has resulted in the pupal chamber being excavated in such curious places as the corks of bottles and in books.

 
Cigarette Beetle (Lasioderma Serricorne)
 
Appearance:
Adult :
Oval, covered with small hairs that give a silky, yellowish brown colour, about 3mm long. Adults are strong fliers.
Life Cycle:
Eggs (up to 100) laid by female near or on the food supply. Larvae are creamy-white, worm-like and slightly smaller than adults. Entire life cycle can be completed in 45-50 days.
Damage:
A serious pest of dried tobacco either in the stored, bundled form or in cigars, cigarettes, and chewing tobacco, it also feeds on book-bindings and leaves. Larvae can feed on a variety of stored products including grain, cereal products, ginger, raisins, dates, pepper, dried fish, drugs, and seeds. An equally serious pantry or stored grain pest, as the range of food makes them difficult to control. It can infest spices like curry powder, chili powder, paprika, etc. and even feed on pyrethrum powder strong enough to kill cockroaches!
 
 
Confused Flour Beetle (Also see Rust-Red Flour Beetle) (Tribolium confusum )
 
Appearance:
Adult : Reddish-brown, 3-4mm, antennae gradually enlarged towards the tip, flightless adult (T. confusum), reddish-brown, 3-4mm, elongate body with antennae with enlarged last three segments, able to fly (T. castaneum).
Life Cycle:
Adult : 6.4-12.7mm long, black with striped white markings (Aedes Spp.), thin, long-legged winged insect; adults have three pairs of long, slender legs, with an elongate "beak" or proboscis to pierce skin.
Damage:
Both beetles look very similar and share similar habits. They are very common pests infesting many flourmills, warehouses, and grocery stores, also feeding on grain, beans, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, and other foods in the house. They can also enter homes through infested flour and can build up into large populations on food accumulations in cabinet cracks and crevices and in furniture.
 
 
Drug Store Beetle (Stegobium paniceum )
 
Appearance:
Adult : 2-4mm long reddish-brown oval body with fine hairs, head is hidden under a domed hood, and wing covers are finely patterned with lines of dots. The last three antennal segments are particularly long. Larvae : white, 5 mm long, “C” shaped, with many short hairs.
Life Cycle:
Eggs (20-100) laid singly or in clusters on food material. Larvae tunnel through food material, form a cocoon and pupate within. Entire life cycle usually takes about 7 months, depending on conditions.
Damage:
Adults can fly. The tiny larvae can penetrate the finest cracks in packages and tunnel through the food. Their omnivorous feeding habits make them an important household and warehouse pest, particularly when foodstuffs are left undisturbed. Items attacked include most household food and spices, drugs, hair, horn leather, museum specimens, plant materials, cereal grains and products, flour, herbs, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, oilseed cake, etc. When badly infested, solid products are full of small round holes. It is also a serious pest of books and manuscripts.
 
 
Saw-toothed Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis )
 
Appearance:
Adult : Small, brown, flattened body, with six saw-toothed projections on each side of the middle body, about 2-3mm long. Larvae : yellowish-white tapering body with brown head, 2-3mm long.
Life Cycle:
Eggs (45-285) laid in foodstuff. Entire life cycle takes 3-4 weeks.
Damage:
A common stored food pest throughout the world; found in stores, warehouses and grain storage areas. It readily penetrates packaged cereals, dried fruits and candies and attacks flour, meal, sugar, drugs, dried meat, and tobacco.
 
 
Khapra Beetle (Trogoderma granarium )
 
Appearance:
Adult : Uniformly dark, or mottled, 3mm long, do not feed or fly. Larvae : yellowish-white (early instars), middle instars brownish, later instars dark brown, covered with long hairs, 6.3mm long.
Life Cycle:
Eggs (up to 80 per female) laid over several days, on food source. Larvae : development depends on conditions, and under unfavourable conditions may become dormant for up to four years! Life span of adult from 1-1 ½ months.
Damage:
The most important stored produce pest from the phyto-sanitary point of view for importers /exporters, thus is the subject of strict quarantine regulations. The diapause (dormant behaviour) of the larvae makes it difficult to control. It prefers cereals and oilseeds but will feed on a variety of produce.
 
Rust-Red Flour Beetle (Also see Confused Flour Beetle) (Tribolium castaneum )
 
Appearance:
Adult : Reddish-brown, 3-4mm, antennae gradually enlarged towards the tip, flightless adult (T. confusum), reddish-brown, 3-4mm, elongate body with antennae with enlarged last three segments, able to fly (T. castaneum).
Life Cycle:
Eggs (300-400), larvae are brownish-white, 13mm long. Entire life cycle takes between 1-4 months.
Damage:
Both beetles look very similar and share similar habits. They are very common pests infesting many flourmills, warehouses, and grocery stores, also feeding on grain, beans, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate, and other foods in the house. They can also enter homes through infested flour and can build up into large populations on food accumulations in cabinet cracks and crevices and in furniture.

 
 
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