Red & Confused Flour Beetles
Adult flour beetles are red-brown, slender, and about 1/8-inch long. Both red and confused species look very similar. They can be distinguished by looking at the antennae. The antennae of confused flour beetle gradually enlarge toward the tip and end in a four segmented club. The antennae of red flour beetle become club-like while the club has three segments.
Tribolium confusum (Confused Flour Beetle) Tribolium Castaneum (Red Flour Beetle)
Life cycle and habits
Over the span of the beetle’s lifetime that consists of two to three years. A female produces roughly 300 to 500 eggs during its entire life cycle. It lays two to three of these clear, white, sticky eggs daily in cracks, in bags, or through the mesh of flour bags. The eggs get hatched in 12 days and the larvae undergo 5 – 12 moults. The entire development completes in about 30 days.
As far as flour is concerned, confused and red flour beetles are major pests. They are found abundantly in grain dust, flour, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate, snuff, spices, rodent baits and drugs.
It is essential to identify and discard the infested flour or other stored products. The next step is to vacuum the cupboards, cabinets, closets, shelves and pantry thoroughly to eliminate spilled flour and other food dusts. Normally, these are the areas of infestation, therefore it is essential to clean it thoroughly. Storage areas and sites of infestation should be treated with liquid or dust formulations as a supplement to elimination of the source of the infestation.