Monday, August 26, 2013

The Story of Biscuit Beetle and other larder pests – Biology and Behaviour, Implications for Control

Dermestid beetle
There are several insect pests that are commonly found in home larders feeding on spilled foods or infesting foods inside the packaging. It is usually the larvae of the beetles and weevils that are found in dried foods such as flour, biscuits, cereals, rice and spices. But the adults will be seen collecting on the shelves and in the kitchen.

The control of these pests is generally the same, whichever species you have infesting your larder.

Identification
  • Species – Biscuit beetle, larder beetle, spider beetles, fur beetle, weevils, and more
  • Eat many dried products found in kitchen larders, and other materials made from animal and plants
  • Biscuit beetle and others bore holes into products and packaging similar to borer holes in timber
  • Biscuit beetle look very like borer beetles – related
  • Larvae do most damage in dried products
Breeding
  • Female beetles lay eggs on product or packaging
  • Eggs hatch as larvae that burrow into product
  • After weeks-months larvae pupate and adult beetle bores its way out
  • More activity in summer months
Infested foodstuffs should be disposed of. Dried foods should be kept in sealed containers – glass jars, Tupperware, tins etc. Clean up spilled foods.
Cupboards can be sprayed with NO Bugs Super when empty. Leave to dry completely before putting foodstuffs back.
 
Feeding habits
  • Biscuit beetle eat starchy food – biscuits, grain, flour, pasta, cereals etc.
  • Fur beetle – leather, fur
  • Weevils - biscuits, grain, flour, pasta, cereals etc.
  • Spider beetles - biscuits, grain, flour, pasta, cereals etc.
Spread
  • Do not usually survive outdoors
  • Transported in foods or on packaging as beetles, larvae or eggs.
NO Bugs Super fly/spider treatment may help but prevention is best done by checking for any affected product before putting in pantry and storing in jars/Tupperware/tins etc.
Other pantry pests include pantry moth and booklice (see specific learning notes for these).
 
What do you call a gingerbread man with one leg?
Limp biscuit.

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