The merchant grain beetle (Oryzaephilus mercator) is one of the most commonly encountered kitchen pests in Edmonton. This beetle is a flightless, slender looking, dark brown insect measuring only 3 mm (an eighth of an inch) long.

Worm-like larval stages are most often found in infested food packages while the very active adult beetles may escape and spread to other dry foods, or infest small cracks in the woodwork, feeding on any available spilled food materials.

The Problem

These insects are often brought into the home through infested food purchases, including grains, cereal and pasta.

What You Can Do

Eliminating such pest problems is achieved through good food storage (use containers with tight fitting lids) and house cleaning practices. A crack and crevice vacuum tool is useful for removing food and insects from cupboard joint-lines as well as the bottom edge of kitchen baseboards. Remember to dispose of the vacuum bag contents which may contain live insects.

Infested crack-lines can then be injected with diatomaceous earth, a low toxicity insecticide dust that will provide effective, long lasting insect control if left in place. Diatomaceous earth is available through seed stores, garden centres and other insecticide retail outlets.

Spraying is not recommended.