Confused Flour Beetle


Actual Size: 3.5 mm

Characteristics: Small and flat bodies that are reddish-brown in color. The last three segments of the antenna are nearly equal in diameter.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, but rarely flies.

Habitat: Drawn to dried food products, especially grains such as flour or cereal.


  • Can live up to three years or longer.
  • Are very economically damaging to grain-based products.
  • A single female can lay up to 400 eggs within 5-8 months.

Confused Flour Beetles in Memphis TN Metro Area

Flour beetles encompass a group of beetles that infest flour and grain-based products. Among these species, the confused flour beetle and the red flour beetle pose the greatest economic threat. The confused flour beetle is particularly prevalent in the northern regions of the United States. This beetle displays an omnivorous diet, consuming both plants and animals. Flour beetles are highly significant pests in the context of flour, often being the most frequently encountered pests in flour mills. They primarily feed on grain dust and milled cereals but are incapable of attacking sound and intact grains.

Confused Flour Beetle Habitat

The confused flour beetle and the red flour beetle share the same habitat and engage in competition for resources. Flour beetles can be found not only within infested grain products but also in cracks and crevices where grains may have spilled. Cereal, cake mix, cornmeal, crackers, dry pet food, chocolate, nuts, and seeds like birdseed are common targets for flour beetle infestations. Both adult beetles and small off-white larvae can be found within contaminated food items. The adult beetles often venture away from the infested materials and may be discovered inside pantries, cupboards, or other areas throughout the home.

Confused Flour Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Confused flour beetles do not bite humans or transmit diseases. However, they emit an unpleasant odor, and their presence promotes the growth of mold in grain. These beetles are drawn to grains with high moisture content and can cause a grayish tint in the infested grain. Some common indicators of an infestation include visually spotting beetles crawling or flying around the house, finding them in flour or cereal products, and observing “leaky packages.” If you notice small particles of meal or grain spilling from a package, or if you see small holes chewed through the packaging, it is a sign that an infestation is present.

If an infestation is present in your Memphis TN Metro Area home, locate and discard all infested material. Contact your local pant pest control experts for help or advice with confused flour beetles!