WSU Extension


Food and Fabric
Carpet beetles
Casemaking clothes moth
Cupboard beetle
Drugstore beetle
Indian meal moth
Mediterranean flour moth
Mites in stored foods
Psocids (booklice or barklice)
Sawtooth grain beetle
Spider beetle
Whiteshouldered house moth

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Caption: Rice weevils
Photo by: M. Bush
Cupboard beetle
(revision date: 7/14/2015)

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

Cupboard beetles are a collection of beetle species that attack stored grain products or household foodstuffs. They range from 1/8 inch in length to a little smaller. They are variously colored, but tend to be brownish. Most of them can fly. Once established in food, populations of these insects can explode and move through the home and infest any exposed food. While some enter from outside, most come in 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. Beetles commonly found in these environments include: drugstore beetle, sawtoothed grain beetle, merchant grain beetle, cigarette beetle, flour beetle, spider beetle, rice weevil, granary weevil, and carpet beetle. The drugstore beetle is the most frequent offender in western Washington. The sawtoothed grain beetle and flour beetles are probably the major ones in eastern Washington, but weevils are nearly as important.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • 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.
  • If cupboard beetles become apparent, locate the food source immediately and get rid of it. Then do a thorough inspection of all other stored food products.
  • Don't store excess foodstuffs, such as grains, cereals, baking mixes, etc., for long periods of time.
  • 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: Rice weevils
Photo by: M. Bush
Caption: Whitemarked spider beetles
Photo by: M. Bush
Caption: Drugstore beetle
Photo by: Ken Gray