If you find red bugs in flour, you’ve got flour bugs, also known as flour beetles. What are flour beetles? They’re tiny beetles, usually no longer than 4 mm in length. Most are reddish-brown with very little color change across the body. You might describe most as a rusty red or a shiny brown. There is a black variety as well.
What are Flour Beetles?
Despite this similarity, there are a range of flour beetle species. They’ve got some of our favorite names of all bugs. Sure, there’s a red flour beetle and a black flour beetle, to keep things simple. There’s also the confused flour beetle, the depressed flour beetle, both a broad horned and slender horned species, and both small eyed and longheaded varieties. Whoever named flour beetles had a lot of fun doing so.
You won’t have fun picking them out of your flour, though. In fact: just don’t. It’s best to simply dump the flour. They’ll have tracked around bacteria, and chances are very good they’ve laid eggs in there. It’s not a simple case of picking them out; it’s a simple case of trashing the bag of flour. Do not use it. Although they’re named flour bugs, you’ll also find them in other cereal and baking products.
How’d They Get In?
They won’t bother whole grain foods, but flour, cereal, milled products, and dry varieties of pet food are of interest to them.
Flour beetles are common, so they might have made it in through any number of ways. Sometimes they infest grocery stores. Even one product that comes in with them will quickly spread them to other products – especially because stores have to pack similar products on the shelf together. They could have made it there from a storage facility, from the food processing facility, or from the mill. Any step of the journey provides a good place for them to find plenty of food. Or, they might also simply fly into the home. Not all species fly, but the red flour beetle does.
Get Rid of Pantry Pests
If you don’t find bugs in flour or other foodstuffs, but you do see them nearby, we’d still recommend inspecting your food. They don’t spend all their time in the packages themselves. To get rid of pantry pests, you’ll want to first dump any product they’ve infested. Don’t just put it in your kitchen trash – remember, they’re pretty mobile. Take it all the way outside to a trash receptacle that you can close tightly. Flour bugs are pretty resilient.
Then vacuum out any area that contained food they infested. They can spread quickly across various products. Remember, don’t eat anything they’ve infested. There are almost certainly beetle eggs in those products. Store products in sealed containers from now on.
We can do a full inspection and cleansing. Flour bugs are difficult to get rid of. Insecticide can be applied by a professional in a way that’s safe for you and your family. Contact Ransford today to learn your options with pantry pests.