Red Flour Beetle


Actual Size: 3.5 mm

Characteristics: Small, flattened; reddish-brown. The last three segments of the antenna widen at the tip.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, and can fly short distances.

Habitat: Can be found in infested grains, as well as, crevices in pantries and cabinets.


  • Adults can live three years or more.
  • Cannot feed on whole undamaged grain.
  • Found in temperate areas, but will survive the colder months in protected places.

Red Flour Beetles in Houston, TX

A number of beetles infest flour and grain-based products and are known as flour beetles. The most economically important pests of this species are the red flour beetle and the confused flour beetle. Red and confused flour beetles attack stored grain products such as flour, cereals, spices, pasta, cake mix, dried flowers, and even dried museum specimens. The red flour beetle is essentially an insect of warmer climates and can fly short distances. Flour beetles feed on grain dust and milled cereals, but are unable to attack sound and undamaged grain.

Red Flour Beetle Habitat

Red flour beetles are capable of breeding throughout the year where the building is warmed during winter. 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, dry pet food, chocolate and nuts, and seeds (such as birdseed). Both adults and small, off-white larvae will be found in infested items. The adult beetles often wander away from the infested material and can be found inside pantries and cupboards or anywhere in the home.

Red Flour Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

The red flour beetle does not bite or sting but may elicit an allergic response. Although it does not spread disease, large numbers of dead bodies, cast skins, and fecal pellets can produce extremely pungent odors in grain. 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. Contact your local pantry pest control experts for help with red flour beetle problems.