The world has more than enough insect pests that prefer to infest pantries where they feed upon stored food items. But, just in case you were hoping another species of this sort existed, then you are in luck. The particular species in question is commonly, or not so commonly, known as tiny-sawtoothed grain beetles (TSGB). While some insect pests to stored food items are not always picky about the types of food that they consume, TSG beetles seem to devour just about any type of food item that you could manage to fit into your pantry and kitchen cupboards. For example, this insect pest species has been known to eat cereals, sugar, macaroni, flour, rice, dried meats, dried fruits and a variety of breakfast foods. TSG infestations are almost always limited solely to areas where dried foods are stored.

If the TSG beetle could consume more types of food items, then it most certainly would, but these voracious beetles are not able to break through hard-shelled seeds, like corn, but they have no problem consuming processed grains, and grains that contain broken kernels. Grain beetle infestations are especially common in dry food items that have been stored for long periods of time, and containers that are repeatedly filled with dry foods are also vulnerable to infestation. This is why it is important for homeowners to make sure to clean their reusable stored food containers before filling them again. SGB infestations are most frequently spotted in breakfast cereals, flours and other powdered baking products. Of course, you don’t want to consume stored food that has, or is, infested with grain beetles, but luckily, the beetles do not spread disease or inflict injury to humans. 

STG beetles are incredibly small, as fully matured adults rarely exceed one eighth of an inch in body length. In terms of anatomy, the STG beetle seems designed to invade food item packages, as their bodies are flat and disc-shaped while the middle part of their body (thorax) features saw-like features to help facilitate their effort to cut into cereal boxes and a variety of other types of packaging. This particular feature also allows them to escape from vacuum bags after being sucked into the machine by frustrated homeowners. For this reason, as well as their small size, pest control professionals are often necessary to have grain beetles eradicated from a home.

Have you ever started eating a food that you realized had contained an insect/s?