Pest Of The Week – Saw-toothed grain beetle

The Saw-toothed grain beetle (Oryzaepkilus surinamensis) is an insect of tropical and warmer countries, but they can also be found outdoors in the UK, usually as a result of infested food stocks, and in unheated buildings.

The adult saw-toothed grain beetles are small, brown and have a flattened body 1/10-1/8 inch long with six saw-like teeth on the first segment behind the head. They do not fly and they are not attracted to light. The larvae are usually yellowish-white with a brown head and are less than 1/8 inch long when mature. The larvae are difficult to identify because they are nearly identical to other closely related grain beetles.

Life Cycle
The female adult lays her eggs individually or in small batches in and around a food supply. A female can lay 100-400 eggs per year. Larvae emerge from the eggs in 3 to 10 days and immediately start to attack the grain or foodstuff. The larvae moult around 4 times and usually mature into adults within 50 days. Adult females live from 6 to 10 months, but can live up to 3 years if conditions are ideal. Several generations can be produced each year due to the shorter time required for life cycle development in a controlled environment or during the summer months.

Habits & Behaviour
The Saw-toothed grain beetle is a scavenger and cannot fly. These beetles feed on a variety of stored products including flour, cereals, bread, pasta, dried fruits, sugar, nuts, drugs, dried meat, and tobacco. With their flattened body, they easily hide in cracks and crevices, and can penetrate poorly packaged materials. They are commonly found in seldom-used stored products. They favour warm, humid conditions and they are more active during the summer months. Not only do they contaminate food they also can create favourable conditions for growth of moulds. Even though they eat and foul food, they are not known to cause any human health hazards.

If you suspect you have a saw-toothed grain beetle infestation in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee or Perth, call GRAHAM pest control today and we could help.