Flour beetles are pests that invade and infest homes, grocery stores, and food packaging facilities. While mainly found in food items, they can be found in unexpected places. So, you can experience a flour beetle in a bedroom situation.
These insects are a terror that can cause you a pocket-draining worth of food damage. Imagine how alarming it would be to find these flour beetles in your bedroom. What do you do? How do you get rid of them?
In this article, you’ll learn how to identify flour beetles and exterminate them. You will also find out what you need to do to prevent an infestation.
What are flour beetles?
Flour beetles are pests of cereal silos, that is, buildings designed to store grain. People widely use them as laboratory animals because they are easy to keep. Flour beetles eat wheat and other grains.
Also, flour beetles adapt to survive in very dry places and can withstand high amounts of radiation, even more than cockroaches. They can also resist certain amounts of pesticides. Plus, flour beetle infestations can make a full pantry unfit for you to eat.
Furthermore, they create a bad smell and contribute to the growth of mold in food. These pests also contaminate goods packaged with their waste products and shed skin.
While people call them laboratory animals, they are major pests in the agricultural industry.
Why do you have flour beetles in your bedroom?
One of the most common reasons you find flour beetles in your bedroom is because they can easily access food in the house. Flour beetles love to move around. So, if they get to your pantry, they can move to your bedroom.
If your home has unprotected food items, they are at risk.
Therefore, avoid eating in the room or taking food bags to your bedroom. That is because they may serve as entry points for flour beetles to infest.
The presence of flour beetles is not necessarily an indication that your house is dirty. These pests just look for places with food supplies that are easily accessible.
Do flour beetles stay in flour?
No, they do not. Flour beetles only feed on the dust and remnants of grain. They eat the grain dust that accumulates in bags of flour, cereal, pasta, and grains. Also, these beetles infest the products in grocery stores or packaging warehouses.
Consequently, you can buy grains from stores and unknowingly take flour beetles home. From there, the beetles spread to other items in your pantry. Therefore, if a flour beetle is in your house, it can move to other parts.
Where can you find flour beetles?
You can find flour beetles and their mealworms in bags of cereal and other flour-type grains. Pests like flour beetles completely depend on human activity. This means you will rarely find them in the wild.
Also, you may find mealworms in grain shipment boxes or food bags. So, ensure you inspect all foods you buy before leaving the store.
How do you identify flour beetles?
For a suitable infestation solution, you should be sure it’s a flour beetle. If you do not correctly identify the pest, you might use the wrong treatment. These are traits that will help you identify flour beetles:
1. There are two main types of flour beetle. They include the red flour beetle and the confused flour beetle.
2. The two flour beetle species are nearly identical. One is named the “confused” flour beetle because of how often people mistake it for the red flour beetle.
3. The red flour beetle has a distinct, three-segmented club antenna. Meanwhile, the confused flour beetle has an antenna that ends with a four-segmented club.
3. Both specie of adult flour beetles look reddish brown and are 1/8th of an inch long. These beetles do not eat or lay eggs in grain. However, they will eat and lay eggs in cereal and flour products. Additionally, red flour beetles fly, but confused flour beetles do not.
After correctly identifying the flour beetles, you should inspect your house to find where and how the pests got into your bedroom.
Where to inspect
Since flour beetle infestations occur in pantry food products, you should inspect the pantry. Check your cabinets and shelves. Search inside bags of flour, cereals, grains, starches, and pet food.
Also, check for other possible hiding places before you start eliminating the insects.
What to look for
Look for the contaminated item that started the infestation. In your bedroom, search for the item you found the beetles, and check the area surrounding the food.
Look in containers around the spot in your room where you found adult flour beetles crawling. After confirming flour beetle activity, begin home cleanup.
Remember to read all product labels of insecticides or pesticides. Also, follow the application instructions on these labels. Ensure you stay safe by wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
Solutions to flour beetle in the bedroom
Preliminary cleanup and vacuuming
1. Wiping out flour beetles starts with a thorough cleanup of your bedroom. Start by throwing out all contaminated food items. That’s because if you have found one infested item, there’s a sad chance others may also be infested. So, do not take chances.
2. You can use a vacuum to clean areas that need deep cleaning. Vacuum the corners, sides, top, and bottom of your shelves and cabinets. Next, take a washcloth soaked in soapy water and clean the inner part of your closet.
After vacuuming, trash the bag or clean the canister with warm soapy water. Then, you can use a toothpick to clear out and clean the screws. Flour beetle eggs can also hide in the screws.
3. Check your bedroom or other areas for cracks in walls. Then, use caulking to close off any crack to prevent the spread of the infestation.
Post cleanup and vacuuming
1. Treat the cracks you closed with a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. The insecticide is effective when it comes to treating cracks. Flour beetles crawl in small spaces and lay eggs. If you apply pyrethroid, it will kill them within contact.
2. Shake the can and spray along the length of the crack. Pyrethroid will wash out the pests in these areas. Also, it won’t leave behind residues; instead, it will provide immediate extermination after flushing the invading flour beetles out.
How do you prevent flour beetles?
If you don’t want to ever deal with a flour beetle in your bedroom, here are measures you can take:
1. Make sure to check the package before buying food items. Check for holes, tears, and rips that might indicate that the food item is already infested.
2. Also, do not leave your goods in their original bags. Transfer them (cereals, grains, and flours) into air-tight plastic or metal containers. Do this to prevent an infestation or to isolate an existing one.
3. Additionally, if you can help it, try not to buy an excessive number of groceries. It will help avoid storing foods for lengthy periods (months and years), which may give the beetles a chance to create an infestation.
4. Apply pesticides regularly because flour beetles can resist low quantities of pesticides.
Are flour beetles harmful?
Yes, they are. Flour beetles do not scratch, sting, or harm humans directly. However, they contaminate the food items they live in. Beetles lay eggs and spread pathogens which is a serious cause for concern.
If the flour beetles survive long enough in pantries, they may spread parasites to humans, especially through foods you eat without knowing it’s flour beetles infected. So, if you notice any food packages with a tear, do not hesitate to dispose of them.
Do flour beetles bite?
No, they do not. Although flour beetles have mouth parts, they do not bite people or other animals. The pests can only cause allergic reactions that you can mistake for bites. These reactions look like raised red or wheels, itchy welts that look like insect bites.
What causes confused flour beetle infestation?
Confused flour beetles are attracted to grains with high moisture. Therefore, they will come when a grain bag is wet.
How do you control red flour beetles?
You can control red flour battles with fumigants, organophosphates, and pyrethroids.
How long do flour beetles live?
Flour beetles live for as long as three years. And an adult female can lay up to three hundred eggs with a life cycle of three to seven weeks.
Where do female flour beetles lay eggs?
Female flour beetles lay eggs in food items or grains.
Flour beetles are pantry pests that infest and contaminate food items. They move around a lot, so they can move from your food pantry to your bedroom, especially if you keep food bags or leftovers there.
To kill them, identify the source and clean it out. However, if you want to prevent future infestations, be sure you do not clutter your pantry.
Check your groceries before putting them away, and avoid eating in the bedroom. Even if you eat there, clean it thoroughly, and generally, keep a neat home to prevent a flour beetle in bedroom situation.
Thanks for reading.
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