iconUnusual Pest Challenges (Stored Product Pests)

In the last issue we covered three unusual challenges with flies.  We hope you tried to answer the problems.  There may have been other solutions but we know those listed below the article worked.  A procedure to use in case of unusual challenges was also presented.  Here are some more for you to try to solve.  Remember - when an unusual pest is encountered, there is most likely a limited source of the pest – no insects develop from spontaneous generation.  Thorough investigation (inspection and questioning) may be required to unearth the source.  Once this is found and treated the problem is normally solved.



1grain beetles in a bedroom and a briefcase

Two totally independent situations but with the same answer.  The beetles were very different.  One was brown and cylindrical in shape, the other was dark with four spots on the wings and it had a long snout.  From the word picture over the phone, the beetles were as pictured.  There was no food in the bedroom.  The briefcase was empty.  But in both situations the reason and treatment was the same.  Start with identification. 

How would you treat these pests?

2grain beetles in the rodent baits in a self-store complex aisles

The owners of a self-store complex – where people rent out garage-style storage spaces – were trying to do the right thing by their clients and had the complex treated in case of rodent activity.  Baits, in tamper-proof bait stations, were strategically placed throughout the common areas of the complex.  Then they found that the rodent baits were being attacked by a beetle. 

What is it and how would you treat it?

3grain beetles in the rodent baits in a sugar mill in north Queensland

The phone caller said – “Fly-like, flies readily, small, long legs. .. Eating the blocks like nothing seen before.  Huge numbers.  What is it?”  A specimen was requested.  It arrived with hundreds of holes through the rodent baits and heaps of specimens.  The offending pest was a coffee bean weevil.  Armed with that knowledge,

what would you do next?



 grain beetles in a bedroom and a briefcase

The brown beetle is the flour beetle, Tribolium spp.  Feed on a range of grains, seeds, processed products, peanuts, cocoa beans, spices, dried fruits etc. The beetle with the snout is a rice weevil, Sitophilus oryzae.  Weevils only attack whole, undamaged grain.  So what could be in the bedroom and empty briefcase that they are breeding in?

grain beetles in the rodent baits in a self-store complex aisles

The cigarette (tobacco) beetle, Lasioderma serricorne. Feeds on tobacco, rice, oilseed cake, herbs, cocoa, dried fruits, nuts, paprika etc.  But each tenant has the only key to any unit.  How would you treat the problem?

grain beetles in the rodent baits in a sugar mill in north Queensland

The coffee bean weevil damages maize, cocoa, coffee beans, dried fruits etc in tropical areas.  It is transported to temperate zones in cocoa and coffee beans, but generally does not survive there.  There is coffee grown in the general area in which it was found.  So, the question was asked – “is there coffee nearby?”.  Answer – “No, but there is a cocoa processor next door.”  What would you do next?


 grain beetles in a bedroom and a briefcase

In both cases it was wheat bags used to relieve pain.  The wheat bag had been removed from the briefcase.  Treatment – throw away the infested bag and treat the infested area.

grain beetles in the rodent baits in a self-store complex aisles

Access to the units was not possible.  Therefore the source of the infestation could not be found.  All tenants were notified in writing to remove any potential food sources for these beetles.  Pheromone traps (Multi Species Traps) were placed near the baits to catch male beetles.


grain beetles in the rodent baits in a sugar mill in north Queensland

The management of the sugar mill was advised.  The rodent baits were temporarily removed.  The cocoa processor was approached.  He said – “I did have a problem about a month ago in the cocoa storage shed but no longer.  I removed all the cocoa.”  So the weevils found their way to the rodent baits because their primary source had been removed.  Obviously a potential problem into the future when the processor brings cocoa back into the store.

Taken from Garrards Pest Review Magazine.

Some products we carry that will assist with the management of stored product pests:


These products are all ready to use, easy to use stored product pests management devices.

cm812bCatchmaster Food & Pantry Moth Traps - 2 pack (size: 21.6cm x 13.3cm)

For the control of Indian meal moth, Tobacco moth, and Mediterranean flour moth. Simply place enclosed pheromone squares on designated spot, fold trap to form a triangle and place the decorative wood-grain trap in cabinets where moths are seen.




XLure MST (and refils)

Features a 360 degree entrance, beetle-specific pheromones and even works on dusty surfaces.



3Xlure RTU

Features a non-drying glue with high tolerance to dust partices, pre-loaded with pherogel(TM) and is disposable after use.




Simple to use and replace, and ideal for monitoring Indian meal moth (Plodia Interpunctella).