Flour Beetles

Two flour beetles are common in Maine: the confused (Tribolium confusum) and the red (Tribolium castaneum). They primarily attack milled grain products, such as flour and cereals, and will be found in cake and pancake mixes, spices, powdered milk, chocolate, dried fruit and dry pet food. Badly infested flour is characterized by a sharp odor and moldy flavor.

confused flour beetle
Confused flour beetle. Adults are shiny, reddish-brown, about 1/8 inch long. Adults do not fly.

red flour beetle
Red flour beetle. Similar in appearance to the confused flour beetle. Adults are strong fliers.

red flour beetle adult, larva and pupa
Red flour beetle adult, larva and pupa.

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Identification and Control Information

[Photos, left to right: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org; Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org; Frank Peairs, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org]