Confused Flour Beetle


Actual Size: 3.5 mm

Characteristics: Small, flattened; reddish-brown. The last three segments of the antenna are almost equal in diameter.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, but rarely flies.

Habitat: Often inhabit grain products such as cereal, cornmeal, and more.


  • Adults can live for three years or more.
  • Economically damaging pest of flour and grain-based products.
  • In 5-8 months, female beetles lay 300-400 eggs in dry food products.

Confused Flour Beetles in Bristol and Johnson City TN

Flour beetles include a number of types of beetles that primarily infest flour and grain products. The confused flour beetle is one of the most common and most dangerous types. They are common in various areas of the United States, including right here in Tennessee. This beetle is omnivorous, eating both plants and animals. Flour beetles are extremely important pests of flour, being the most commonly encountered pests in flour mills. They feed on grain dust and milled cereals, but are unable to attack sound and undamaged grain.

Confused Flour Beetle Habitat

Flour beetles can be found not only inside infested grain products but in cracks and crevices where grain may have spilled. Flour beetles infest cereal, cake mix, cornmeal, crackers, and dry pet food, chocolate and nuts, and seeds (such as birdseed). 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 pantries and cupboards or anywhere in the home.

Confused Flour Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Confused flour beetles do not bite or spread disease. However, they give off a displeasing odor, and their presence encourages mold growth in grain. They are attracted to grain with high moisture content and can cause a grey tint to the grain they are infesting. Common signs of an infestation are visual sightings of actual beetles crawling or flying throughout the home, seeing them in flour or cereal products, and “leaky packages.” Small bits of meal or grain spilling from a package, or small holes chewed through packaging, are signs that an infestation is present.

If an infestation is present in your Bristol and Johnson City home, locate and discard all infested material. Contact your local beetle exterminators for assistance with an infestation!