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Krispy, crunchy, and packed with protein, but hardly appetizing to the western palate, this omnivorous beetle will infest just about any stored grain product or dry good.
About the size of this letter “o” the adult beetle will often be the first sign that you have a problem.
Once discovered you should act decisively to get them under control.
Most of the damage caused by this beetle is caused by the developing larvae.
The larvae are capable of consuming some pretty strange things including wool, leather and even museum insect specimens.
Like many insects, this beetle has a symbiotic organism, a yeast that lives in its digestive system, that allows it to survive on foods with very low nutritional value.
Frankly, most of us don't care what they eat so long as we don't find them on our spoon.
Most of the infestations I encounter originate in pet food. Particularly, doggy treats followed closely by dry pet food.
Dog treats turn up in the strangest places. Under beds, in couches, under kitchen appliances and if you ever had a rodent in the house they can end up in the toe space under cabinets.
After that, it is usually some dry good that got pushed to the back of the cupboard and is way past its ‘best by’ date.
Finding the source of the problem is paramount, but determining the extent of the infestation is just as important. If it’s limited to one room, you can avoid disposing of a lot of otherwise unspoiled food.
The general rule is “if you find an infested item in a cupboard get rid of everything else in that cupboard that is vulnerable”. The beetle eggs are too small to detect in food and unless you can afford the time and expense of toasting it at 190 degrees for an hour, assuming it will still be edible, or freezing below 25 degrees for a week, it is usually easier to chuck it.
Canned goods are generally safe. Just insure the outside of the can is free from spilled product from infested materials.
If the beetles are eating something irreplaceable, there are other options, but food doesn't qualify for those measures.
Once you manage the items that are infested it is not necessary to treat with chemicals.
Clean the affected cupboards with dish soap and water. Place open products in airtight containers, Tupperware usually works.
Then, keep an eye out for further activity.