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Sawtoothed Grain Beetle Facts & Information

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

Sawtoothed grain beetle illustration
Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.)
2.5 to 3 mm
Flat body
Projections on head


How do I get rid of sawtoothed grain beetles?

What You Can Do

Try these methods to help get rid of the pests:

  • Throw away infested food - Empty cabinets and pantries and check every package

  • Vacuum - Clean the empty shelves with a vacuum to remove any insects and food particles.

  • Practice proper food storage habits - Store new food products in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers. Store pet food in containers with a lid.

What Orkin Does

Inspection and cleaning are key steps in eliminating sawtoothed grain beetles. Insecticide application is the final step. The application should be made into cracks and crevices. The object is to eliminate any insects that might be hiding. To avoid misapplication, call your local pest control professional.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Sawtoothed Grain Beetles


The sawtoothed grain beetle is a major pest of stored food products in homes and commercial facilities.

  • Length: It is about 2.5 to 3 mm long.

  • Body: The body is flat. There are six tiny projections on each side, just behind the head. These projections give the beetle its name. It helps to use a magnifying glass to see them.


The sawtoothed grain beetle is not attracted to light and it does not fly. It is a major pest of stored food products in homes and commercial facilities.


The sawtoothed grain beetle does not infest whole grain. Its flat body allows it to enter tiny cracks and infest broken kernels. Sawtoothed grain beetles infest:

  • Birdseeds

  • Cereals

  • Chocolates

  • Dried fruits

  • Flour

  • Pastas

  • Pet foods

  • Nuts

  • Tobacco

  • Yeast

Reproduction & Lifecycle

The female beetle deposits eggs in cracks in food or on ground food, like flour. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed and grow. When the larvae are ready to change to adult beetles, they make a cocoon from food particles.

In warm, humid conditions, the entire life cycle, from egg to mature adult, takes about two months. There can be several generations per year.

More Information

The sawtoothed grain beetle’s scientific name is Oryzaephilus surinamensis (L.). It means "rice-loving from Suriname." The name comes from from the fact that the first specimens were found in Suriname.

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