Biscuit Beetle (Stegobium paniceum) and Cigarette/Tobacco Beetle (Lasioderma serricorne)
The Biscuit beetle attacks not only foodstuffs but also leather, paper and other
manufactured goods. The larvae of these pests are voracious feeders and are able
to chew through almost all forms of packaging including metal, which makes this species
a significant commercial and domestic pest. This beetle is closely related to the
Cigarette/Tobacco beetle, which it closely resembles and both species grow from 2
to 3mm in length and are a light brown colour. Although the Cigarette beetle is primarily
a pest of leaf tobacco, cigars and cigarettes it will also infest many other stored
Larder Beetle (Dermestes lardarius) and Leather Beetle (Dermestes maculatus)
These beetles grow on average to 8mm in length and are from the Dermestes family.
They feed on various animal products that are high in protein and are a serious pest
of kitchens. The Larder beetle is black with a whitish band across the forepart of
its back while the Leather beetle is black with a white underside.
These beetles are roughly 3-4mm in length with the Broad-horned flour beetle being
slightly larger with hornlike mandibles on the head. The Confused flour beetle and
the Rust-red flour beetle are reddish brown in colour and these beetles attack milled
grain products such as flour and cereals and can build up into large populations
on accumulated food as can be found in storage silos, flour mills, bakeries and pantries.
Economic loss due to these insects is high as they taint food with their secretions.
These pests threaten industries that deal with bulk stored grain with loss of stock
and goodwill from customers. The Flat grain beetle, as it’s name suggests, has a
flattened body, grows to 2.5mm in length and is light to dark red in colour. The
Merchant grain beetle and the Saw-toothed grain beetle are more similar in appearance;
growing up to 3mm in length and both have six saw-like projections on each side of
Yellow Mealworm Beetle (Tenebrio molitor)
This hardy beetle is commonly mistaken for the common ground beetle, being robust,
black and nearly 18mm in length. They claim their name from their larvae, which are
a distinct honey-yellow in colour. These beetles are strong fliers, commonly feeding
on cereals, meat scraps and dead insects.
Australian Spider Beetle (Ptinus tectus) & Golden Spider Beetle (Niptus hololeucus)
The Australian spider beetle originates from Tasmania and is associated with bird’s
nests and stored foodstuffs. The larvae can bore through many types of packaging
and is a widespread pest in the food industry. They grow to an average of 3.5mm in
length, are covered in brown hairs and have a spider-like appearance.