Saw toothed and Merchant grain beetle

Saw toothed and Merchant grain beetles infestation

Saw toothed

The Saw Toothed (Oryzaephilus Surinamensis) and Merchant (Oryzaephilus Mercator) grain beetles are very similar in appearance. This and the fact that both pests are rather small, make it more difficult for people to distinguish them in infested products.

It is not very difficult to get a Merchant grain beetle infestation at your home or business premises. The adult Merchant beetles are able to fly and would readily do so when they are looking for new food sources. Another way would be bringing a pack of contaminated grain product. The beetles will then spread into the new food sources that they can find in your kitchen or storage area. They also prefer food sources with higher oil content (e.g. copra or nuts). Unlike the Merchant beetles, the adult form of the Saw Toothed beetle cannot fly and prefer less greasy grain products (e.g. beans and peas).

One would usually encounter a Saw Toothed and Merchant grain beetles infestation in products such as cornmeal and cornstarch, cereals, bran, flour, rolled oats, dried fruit, pasta, spices, dried meat, bread, herbs, chocolate, drugs, pet food, etc… The beetles can chew their way through cardboard, foil and paper packages, so that they can get to their food source.

Once started, a Saw Toothed or Merchant grain beetle infestation would develop quickly and the beetles will spread around other foods and in food debris in the corners of cupboards and any cracks and crevices associated with them and containing a source of food. The larvae and the adult forms of both beetles feed externally with fine grain particles and not on whole grains. The beetles also have running legs (similar to the ones of the cockroaches) and this helps them to be able to penetrate even tightly sealed packages.

Signs of Saw Toothed and Merchant grain beetles may be the actual forms of the beetles – the eggs, the larvae, the pupa and the adults, increased weight of the product caused by water produced in the metabolic process of the beetles. The accumulation of humidity may cause mould to develop in the product as well. Those signs may be present in both damaged and undamaged kernels of products as they are both preferred by the insects. Apart from the damage caused to the products, the beetles are not cause any harm to people or pets.

Saw toothed and Merchant grain beetles treatment and control

When it comes to the control and treatment of the Saw Toothed and the Merchant grain beetles, the general tips for prevention and removal of stored product insects are valid. Good sanitisation and regular inspection of the stored products are vital for the prevention of a grain beetle infestation. Trying to reduce the amount of bulk products stored at home would help greatly to reduce the opportunity for an infestation to grow. Replacing the original product packaging with glass jars would not only help you keep the stored product beetles at bay but it will also help you to detect if there is already a contamination present in the product you have bought. It is a common way of getting a stored product insect infestation. If the property is already infested, then careful disposal of the infested products, together with thorough hoovering of all shelves and cupboards is recommended, followed by cleaning and scrubbing those areas. This would ensure that anything left from the infestation will be removed before you replace the new products inside. For stubborn or severe infestation fumigation is available as a treatment option.

For industrial properties and businesses handling grains and stored food products in general it is also vital to keep high level of hygiene in the premises and clean the silos and the containers well before replacing with new products. The equipment should be checked on a regular basis as well as it may have food debris left inside that might trigger the pests. If an infestation is already present, fumigation is recommended, which would help to eradicate the grain beetles and save the product, so that it could be used afterwards.

For any Saw Toothed or Merchant grain beetle questions or queries you can call our friendly and knowledgeable staff, who will advise you on your grain beetle problem. You can also book an inspection with one of our BPCA-trained pest technicians, who will come and inspect your domestic or business premises and will locate the source of the infestation and recommend a tailored to your needs pest management scheme. Whether it is in North, South, West or East London or any of the surrounding counties, Prime Pest Control offers high quality and efficient pest control services to domestic and commercial customers.

About Saw toothed and Merchant grain beetles

The Saw Toothed and the Merchant grain beetles may seem very similar at first but they have their differences if looking at them carefully. Both beetles have 6 saw-shaped projections on both sides of their thoraxes. The Saw Toothed beetle has longer head behind its eyes, while the head of the Merchant beetle is shorter. The total length of the two beetles is around 2.5mm – 3mm. Their larval forms are pale yellow to brown in colour.

They also have similar lifespans – the two beetles lay single eggs or small batches of eggs and the adult forms live for about 6 to 10 months. Very rarely some might survive for slightly over 3 years. The life cycle of the Saw Toothed beetles can be completed for a period of 51 days from the egg through the larvae and the pupa to the adult form in the end. In more favourable temperatures the cycle can be completed within 27 to 35 days. The Merchant beetle have a life cycle of 35 days and may have 6 to 7 generations. These beetles do not have tolerance for low temperatures.

Saw toothed and Merchant grain beetle
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