WSU Extension


Caption: Sawtooth grain beetle
Photo by: Ken Gray
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Sawtooth grain beetle

(revision date: 7/14/2015)

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful pest management.

The sawtoothed grain beetle and its look-alike relative, the merchant grain beetle, are slender, flattened, reddish-brown beetles that measure about 1/8 inch in length. They exhibit saw-like teeth along the edge of the prothorax (shoulder area). These beetles feed on a wide variety of foods. While some come in from outdoors, most come in on purchased food, particularly dry pet food. These beetles can enter a home in large and disturbing numbers to feed on food, such as bird seed or pet food, which mice or other rodents have stored in wall voids.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Don’t store excess foodstuffs, such as grains, cereals, baking mixes, etc., for long periods of time.
  • If grain beetles become apparent, locate the food source immediately and get rid of it. Then do a thorough inspection of all other stored foods.
  • Pests can get into most cardboard packaging, so store foodstuffs in tightly-sealed containers if they are not going to be used in the near future.
  • Keep dry pet foods away from the general pantry area and in a tightly-sealed container.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

None recommended.

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Caption: Sawtooth grain beetle
Photo by: Ken Gray