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Red Flour Beetle

[Summary]Red flour beetle The red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) is a species of beetle in the family Tenebrionidae, the darkling beetles. It is a worldwide pest of stored products, particularly food grains, and a model organism for ethological[citation n

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Red flour beetle

The red flour beetle (Tribolium castaneum) is a species of beetle in the family Tenebrionidae, the darkling beetles. It is a worldwide pest of stored products, particularly food grains, and a model organism for ethological[citation needed] and food safety[1] research.

The red flour beetle attacks stored grain and other food products including flour, cereals, pasta, biscuits, beans, and nuts, causing loss and damage. It may cause an allergic response, but is not known to spread disease or cause damage to structures or furniture. The United Nations, in a recent post-harvest compendium, estimated that Tribolium castaneum & Tribolium confusum, the confused flour beetle, are "the two most common secondary pests of all plant commodities in store throughout the world."[2]

red and confused flour beetles

common name: confused flour beetle
scientific name: Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val (Insecta: Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

common name: red flour beetle
scientific name: Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae)

Introduction - Distribution - Description and Life Cycle - Habits - Management - Selected References

Red Flour Beetle | Iowa Insect Information Notes

The red flour beetle (similarly to the closely related confused flour beetle) is a common household insect pest that originates from infested grain or from dry, stored food products, particularly, cereal products such as flour, cake mix, cornmeal, crackers, dry pet food, and so forth. Other frequently-infested items are chocolate, nuts and seeds (such as bird seed). Both adults and small, off-white larvae will be found in an infested food item. The adult beetles often wander away from the infested material and will be found inside cupboards or anywhere in the house.

Learn About Red Flour Beetles | Red Flour Beetle Identification | Hulett Pest Control

Preventative Pest Tips

There are many things we can do to prevent pests from controlling our environment. Caulking cracks that pests can crawl through, maintaining sanitary conditions to deny pests a food source and eliminating any structure wood content with the earth are just a few.

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Red Flour Beetle | Definition of Red Flour Beetle by Merriam-Webster

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Red Flour Beetle | PermaTreat Pest and Termite Control

The confused flour beetle (Tribolium confusum), a type of darkling beetle known as a flour beetle, is a common pest insect known for attacking and infesting stored flour and grain. They are one of the most common and most destructive insect pests for grain and other food products stored in silos, warehouses, grocery stores, and the home. The confused flour beetle is very similar in appearance and habit to the red flour beetle , Tribolium castaneum and the destructive flour beetle, Tribolium destructor. Both the confused flour beetle and red flour beetle are small, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch in length, and reddish-brown in color. The primary distinguishing physical difference is the shape of their antennae: the confused flour beetle's antennae increase gradually in size and have four clubs, while the red flour beetle's antennae have only three. Additionally, red flour beetles have been known to fly short distances, while confused flour beetles do not. Tribolium destructor is much darker than either and less common. The "confused" in the beetle's name is due to the erratic tracking pattern the beetle leaves when walking, often leaving distintive tracking through flour and other dusts.

University of Kentucky Entomology for Kids

Flour Beetles

Prepared by Caroline Stetter Neel, Extension Specialist

Activity Description

Hands-on Discovery Lab
Age Group: Can be adapted for elementary through high school.
Class Time: Initial discussion and preparation one class period (55 minutes).
Checking beetles every 3 to 4 weeks will take about 20 minutes.

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