Sawtoothed Grain Beetle

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Actual Size: ⅛”

Characteristics: Slender, flat, and brown.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, but do not fly.

Habitat: Found in food manufacturing plants or homes; infest dried goods, bread, and nuts.


  • Possess 6 tiny saw-like “teeth” on each side of the body, hence their name.
  • Incapable of attacking sound grain, preferring dust and crumbs of grain.
  • Typically enters homes in infested products purchased from grocery stores.

Sawtoothed Grain Beetles in Bristol and Johnson City TN

The sawtoothed grain beetle is a common stored products pest found throughout the United States in homes, grocery stores, food warehouses, and grain storage facilities. Similar in appearance to the merchant grain beetle, the merchant grain beetle has the ability to fly, while the sawtoothed grain beetle does not. Adults find their way into stored grains, flour, sugar, nuts, and other dry material of plant origin through cracks and crevices of imperfectly sealed containers. They are incapable of attacking sound grain kernels and often occur in food previously infested by other stored product pests. Their flattened body allows them to easily penetrate broken kernels of grain and packaged materials. Not only do they contaminate food, they often cause mold problems due to moisture build-up.

Sawtoothed Grain Beetle Habitat

Here in Tennessee, sawtoothed grain beetles are commonly found in food manufacturing, storage, and retail facilities, as well as pantries in homes. This stored product pest feeds on bread, cereal, dry pasta, dried meats, candy, nuts, and other dry goods. A single female can lay up to 250 eggs within cracks of kernels of grain. As with other pantry insects, it is the larvae that do most of the damage, however, the adult is most commonly encountered. If you notice adult sawtoothed grain beetles in or around your pantry, you likely have an infestation.

Sawtoothed Grain Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

As much of a nuisance as they are, sawtoothed grain beetles aren’t particularly dangerous. They are not known to carry or transmit any diseases to humans nor do they bite or sting. They are nuisance pests and will contaminate and damage food that is stored in the home. Adults can readily enter sealed cardboard boxes and soft plastic packaging. Sawtoothed grain beetles typically enter homes in products purchased from grocery stores that are already infested with larvae or adults. The primary infestation usually originates at the manufacturing facility where the product was produced. If you have sawtoothed grain beetles in your Bristol and Johnson City property, contact your local beetle exterminators for help.