Sawtoothed Grain Beetle


Actual Size: ⅛”

Characteristics: Slender, flat, and brown bodies.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, but do not fly.

Habitat: Found near dried food goods such as bread or nuts. Most common in homes or food processing facilities.


  • Named after the six tiny saw-like “teeth” on each side of the body.
  • Prefers to consume crumbs or dust of grain and other foods.
  • Usually enters homes through infested food products.

Sawtoothed Grain Beetles in Memphis TN Metro Area

The sawtoothed grain beetle, a common pest that infests stored products, can be found throughout the United States in various locations such as homes, grocery stores, food warehouses, and grain storage facilities. It closely resembles the merchant grain beetle, although the merchant grain beetle has the ability to fly while the sawtoothed grain beetle cannot. Adult sawtoothed grain beetles make their way into stored grains, flour, sugar, nuts, and other plant-based dry materials by entering through cracks and crevices in improperly sealed containers. They are unable to attack intact grain kernels and are commonly found in food that has already been infested by other stored product pests. With their flat bodies, they can easily penetrate broken kernels of grain and packaged materials. Aside from contaminating food, their presence often leads to moisture build-up and subsequent mold problems.

Sawtoothed Grain Beetle Habitat

Sawtoothed grain beetles are frequently encountered in food manufacturing, storage, and retail facilities, as well as home pantries. These pests target a range of dry goods including bread, cereal, dry pasta, dried meats, candy, nuts, and more. Each female beetle has the ability to lay up to 250 eggs, typically within the cracks of grain kernels. While it is the larvae that cause the majority of the damage, it is the adult beetles that are most commonly encountered. A typical indication of a sawtoothed grain beetle infestation is the discovery of adult beetles crawling in the pantry area.

Sawtoothed Grain Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Sawtoothed grain beetles pose no known risk of carrying or transmitting diseases to humans, and they do not bite or sting. However, they are considered nuisance pests that can contaminate and spoil stored food in homes. Adult beetles have the ability to enter sealed cardboard boxes and soft plastic packaging without difficulty. Sawtoothed grain beetles typically enter residential properties through infested products purchased from grocery stores, as the larvae or adult beetles may already be present in these items. The main infestation typically originates at the manufacturing facility where the affected product was produced.

If you have sawtoothed grain beetles in your Memphis TN Metro Area property, contact your local pantry pest control experts for help.