Warehouse Beetles are a small round beetle which will prosper in pantries, closets and warehouses where wheat grain, cereal and other food is stored. Easily mistaken for other small beetles, this persistent pantry pest was first discovered in the United States. Though found to infest warehouses and food processing plants, Warehouse beetles can infest any structure which harbors the food they like. This article will detail some basic biology of this pest and then offer guidelines of how to control local infestations. The most common place for Warehouse Beetle activity in the home will be in the pantry, the garage and the laundry room. Basements are a close third and any room which is used to shelter or feed pets is always a risk. Since adults like to lay eggs where hatching larva will thrive, they tend to stay close to where they emerge from their pupa cocoons. For this reason alone it is important that control efforts are focused and contaminated food is removed. Here is what must be done when dealing with an active infestation.
Photo attribution link: CSIRO [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
They are 1.5-4.0mm long, and oval in shape, mostly dark brown in color, with mottled lighter brown markings.
Their lifecycle usually lasts between 1.5-6 months. The larva is up to 10mm long and pale cream with indistinct dark brown markings. The larva has 3 pairs of legs and is very bristly.
This pest has recently been introduced into the USA. It might be found in many organic materials such as seeds, grains, most types of packaged foods, snail baits, dog biscuits, stock feeds, old rodent baits, grain remnants in sacks, bee and wasp nests, rodent carcasses, dead insects, animal droppings etc. The hairs dropped by larvae may cause human problems such as asthma, skin problems or gastric disorders.