Confused Flour Beetle


Actual Size: 3.5 mm

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

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, but rarely flies.

Habitat: Known for infesting grain products such as cereal, cornmeal, and more.


  • Can live for three years or longer.
  • Capable of laying hundreds of eggs in dry food products.
  • Can contaminate large amounts of flour and grain-based products.

Confused Flour Beetles in North Jersey

Pantry pests are never fun to encounter in your kitchen, but confused flour beetles are considered one of the most economically dangerous pantry pests in the United States. They are known for infesting flour and other grain-based products, which can cause thousands of dollars in damages for warehouses and other businesses in the food industry. Though flour beetles are omnivorous and may eat other insects, they commonly infest flour mills to consume grain dust or milled cereals.

A number of beetles infest flour and grain-based products and are known as flour beetles. Of these species, the confused flour beetle and the red flour beetles are the most economically dangerous. The confused flour beetle occurs commonly in the northern part of the United States. This beetle is omnivorous, eating both plants and animals. Flour beetles are extremely important pests of flour, being the most commonly encountered pests in flour mills. They feed on grain dust and milled cereals, but are unable to attack sound and undamaged grain.

Confused Flour Beetle Habitat

Confused flour beetles get their name from their shocking similarity to red flour beetles, which causes some confusion over their identity. In addition to looking nearly identical, confused flour beetles and red flour beetles live in the same environment and compete for resources. Both types of flour beetles infest grain products and may even sneak into cracks and crevices where grain may have spilled. From cereal and cake mix to cornmeal and dry pet food, larvae and adults alike feed on all sorts of dry goods.

Confused Flour Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Though confused flour beetles are not known to bite humans or spread disease, they can cause an unpleasant odor and may promote mold growth in your food. Since the beetles are attracted to grain with a higher moisture content, they often cause a slight gray tint to the grains they are infesting. If you notice beetles around your property or in your food, you may have an infestation. “Leaky packages” with small holes in them are another big sign that you’re dealing with a pantry pest.

If an infestation is present in your North Jersey home, locate and discard all infested material. Contact your local pantry pest control experts for help or advice with confused flour beetles!