Pantry Beetle Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from pantry beetles by learning techniques for identification and control.

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Order: Coleoptera
Reddish brown to black
2 to 5 mm


How do I get rid of pantry beetles?

What Orkin Does

Pantry beetles refer to a large group of beetles that infest stored products in both residential and commercial settings.

Different species of pantry beetles have different behaviors, habitats, and diets. Therefore, an accurate identification of the infesting beetle by a pest management professional is crucial to successfully controlling an infestation. Their knowledge, experience, and effective use of equipment and products will help control the population of damaging insects. If you discover a pantry beetle, don’t procrastinate – the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Orkin can provide the right solution to keep pantry beetles in their place…out of your home, or business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Pantry Beetles


Pantry beetles refer to a large group of beetles that infest stored products in both residential and commercial settings.

  • Color: Coloring varies by species, but typically ranges from reddish-brown to brown and black.

  • Size: Most species measure between 2 to 5 millimeters in length.


Diets vary greatly depending on the species of pest. Many of the common foods infested by pantry beetles are:

  • Beans

  • Cereals

  • Dried fruits

  • Flour & Grains

  • Nuts & Seeds

  • Pasta

  • Pet foods

Pantry Beetle Feeding Categories

Stored product infesting beetles are broadly categorized based on their feeding behavior. The four categories of pantry beetles are internal feeders, external feeders, secondary feeders, and scavengers.

Internal Feeders

Internal feeders are beetles that complete their larval (grub) stage inside the seed, kernel, or beans they damage. Some of the commonly encountered internal feeders are:

Weevils are relatively easy to identify since they have a long snout that sticks out from their head and has its functional mouthparts at the tip of the snout. Many experts consider the rice and granary weevils to be the world’s most important stored grain pests.

External Feeders

External feeders complete their life cycle outside the grain. However, external feeders will feed on and damage both whole grains and processed products from whole grains. Some commonly encountered external feeders are:

Warehouse and cabinet beetles will feed on animal hair, taxidermy skins, dried fruits, milk, and dead insects. These beetles will infest the attic space of a home where they may be feeding on a dead rodent or a bird’s nest.

Secondary Feeders

This category of pantry beetles infests old, wet, and moldy stored products that may be damaged by other groups of stored product insects. The secondary feeders often do not directly feed on the product itself, but feed on the mold and fungus growing on the products. Some commonly encountered secondary feeders include:

One of many possible causes of a secondary feeder infestation is old rodent baits set out, but not gathered up after the rodent problem was solved. The mealworm beetle infests old products, but is also a valuable insect since its larval stage is raised and sold as fish bait and food for pets like lizards.


This group of pantry beetles cannot infest whole grains or kernels unless the product was damaged by an external or internal feeding beetle or in the harvesting or storage process. The more common and damaging pantry beetles in this group are:

The most likely situations causing a scavenger beetle infestation are broken pieces of whole grains, grain product, or processed products made from a particular type of grain.

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