The sawtoothed grain beetle, is a small, dark brown beetle which can infest a variety of stored products from grain-based foods, to products containing chocolate and nuts. They may also be associated with bird seed and pet food. Their flat bodies allow them to penetrate different types of packaging and cracks and crevices. They can differentiate from other stored product pest beetles by the 6 “teeth” on the sides of the body behind the head. Their name is derived from this saw-like characteristic.
Tips for finding and preventing problems with the sawtoothed grain beetle are as follows:
- Use first in, first out in system of stock rotation to help prevent problems with this stored product pest. Although they will feed on a variety of materials, products which have been in inventory for longer periods of time are more susceptible.
- Keep areas clean and free or product accumulations. Check shelves, warehouse floor/wall junctures for food spills and beetle activity. It doesn’t take a lot of food to support these small beetles. Even small product spills in the cracks of shelving can provide enough food to support these beetles.
- Because of the narrow, flat bodies, the adults can squeeze into the tiniest cracks and crevices and this can be inside sealed, packaged foods. They may be found trapped in shrink wrap of palleted product. Use this as a key to locating this insect on stored products in storage areas and incoming shipments.