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Red flour beetles are common in homes and the confused flour beetle is found in flour mills. If it does, you stay on the first section of the key. Larvae in Box 4 have shorter, thicker thoracic legs, a more box-shaped head, and wider abdomen. “You know there’s still an infested source somewhere,” Hahn says. “If you see whitish caterpillars — larvae — and webbing, you’ve hit the jackpot.” Throw out the infested product in an outdoor trash can. Usually, they have a relatively flat heads and prominent forward-pointing jaws. This difference, though slight, provides an important difference when dealing with origin of the infestation because the red flour beetle is a flier and the confused flour beetle is not capable of flight. Most people overlook prepackaged and prepared foods, unopened packages and non-food items, but a variety of products are vulnerable. Often, insect identification must be based on the larval stage because no adults are present. This will kill any eggs or weevils that are already in the flour. These are highly specialized larvae; most live in water, soil, wood, or in decaying organic matter. Swat the moths if you can. Some parts of this site work best with JavaScript enabled. They commonly munch on breadcrumbs, cereal, flour, nuts and whole grains, says Jeffrey Hahn, an entomologist with the University of Minnesota Extension. 15 – Fly maggots have no head and a cream to white body that is distinctly tapered at head and blunt at the rear. Indian meal moth have been known to infest candy bars and baked goods in vending machines. Both weevils and moths have similar life cycles. Attack the problem by hunting down the source of the infestation — the product in which the moths are living, feeding and breeding. Store products in air-tight, insect-proof containers. 16 – Aphid predator maggots are headless, they tend to have green tinged bodies and are found wandering on leaf surfaces where they feed on aphids. “There’s almost nothing they don’t get into,” Hahn says. Place a bay leaf in the flour to deter bugs. She lives in Georgia with her husband and two dogs. This publication is designed to help you to follow a series of choices in a process to recognize the basic type of the insect that you have. It may or may not apply in your area. If it does not, then go to the second page. Signs of red flour beetle infestations in the home include: adult beetles flying around inside the house, usually attracted to lights, may accumulate in and along window sills, larvae and adults in food products that contain flour, cereal, dried pet food, dog treats and all grain products. These are clear indications that your food is infested. 7- Mosquito larvae (wiggler) are very distinctive. The eggs are hard to see in flour or meal. CAUTION! You should immediately dispose of these foods outside of your home. Even after you’ve taken all the steps to tackle the infestation, you might see a moth or two flying around your kitchen over the next couple of weeks. 11 – Crane fly larvae often have fleshy lobes at end of their abdomens. Gradual metamorphosis has three stages – egg, nymph, and adult. They may be found in stored products or natural fibers, such as cotton or wool. Dr. Subba Reddy PalliDepartment Chair & State EntomologistS-225 Agricultural Science Center NorthLexington, KY, UK Entomology: Vision, Mission, & Core Values, Nancy Cox, Ph.D. If you get bugs, remove food from the cupboards and wash the cupboards with soap and water. 5 – Weevil grubs can be found in plants, plant tips,  seeds, nuts, or with plant roots in the soil. There are pheromone traps available that attract the specific pest to a sticky glueboard or pitfall trap, but these are preferred as a monitoring tool, rather than solely a control method. Many flies have this larval type including blow flies, house flies, and fruit flies. The underside usually is flat while the upper side is rounded, giving them a humpbacked appearance. Often, caterpillars have “hairs”, spines, or distinct coloring. 10 – Soldier fly larva has a flat, gray, palm-shaped body with a distinct tapered head the protrudes from the front. Go right to the source. Bake your grains in the oven at 120 degrees for an hour. Clean your kitchen from top to bottom, making sure to wipe up any spilled flour or crumbs on your pantry shelves. Larvae are cylindrical, whitish, or cream-colored and up to 1/4 inch long and have two small pointed spines on the tail end. After a few weeks, an adult moth comes out. 859-257-4772, Students   /   Clean your kitchen from top to bottom, making sure to wipe up any spilled flour or crumbs on your pantry shelves. Take an extra step that will kill any eggs, larvae or moths hiding in your food: Put your grains, flour, spices and similar products in your freezer for about a week, Hahn suggests. The females deposit a few eggs each day in the food that she is eating. Learn more About Us. Indian meal moth is relocated into the home after product purchase. Keep flour in containers with tight-fitting lids and use the flour often to keep it fresh. In Lancaster County, the 4-H youth development program is a partnership between Nebraska Extension and the Lancaster County government. The source could be an open bag of flour, a box of rice or even a bag of dry dog food, Hahn says. Avoid buying in bulk and storing large quantities of products in the pantry. These larvae live in still water. The thorax is wider than the abdomen and many species have a distinct air tube at the end of the abdomen. The dark head  is withdrawn into the thorax but part of it usually is visible. Larvae with relatively long thoracic legs and a relatively streamlined, often pointed bodies are shown in Box 3. About 75% of all insect species go through the four stages of complete metamorphosis - egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Wireworms (b) have hard, cylindrical, bodies. They are fly larvae that with one exception live in wet or moist areas. Prevention and sanitation is your best protection against pantry pests. Are any management or control practices necessary? Clean-up spills and crumbs in food storage areas so not to attract pests. The best way to protect your food items, especially for long term storage against weevils is with an airtight container. The end point will be a drawing of one of the common larval types that should resemble your specimen. They are common in compost piles and decaying organic matter. Rootworm larvae (c) live in the soil and feed on plant roots. Basically, nothing will happen if you eat pantry moth larvae in food or in the flour. 3. 1. They live in moist, decaying organic matter, especially accumulations of fallen leaves or dead grass. The female beetle deposits eggs directly on flour, cereal, dry pet food or other similar products. Adult flour beetles are approximately 1/8-inch long and reddish-brown in color. Digital Media Library, Images: University of Kentucky Entomology, except where indicated, Picture Key to Larval Insect Types: Section 1 (, Picture Key to Larval Insect Types: Section 2 (, College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Take action now to prevent a fire in your home, Guide to Power Strips and Surge Protectors, Southwire Recalls Wi-Fi Switches Due to Fire Hazard, Louis Garneau Recalls Bicycle Helmets Due to Risk of Head Injury. Most of us have opened an ancient bag of white flour from the back of our pantry and discovered something horrific — bugs, otherwise knows as flour weevils. Most flours come in the standard paper bag which isn’t ideal when it comes to weevils. All life stages can be found in large numbers feeding on broken kernels and other grain products. Eventually, they spin a cocoon out of whitish webbing that looks like a spider web. Grab the fly swatter. These dingy gray larvae live in decaying organic matter. 13 – Flatheaded wood borers have a distinct wide area behind their heads and a long white, soft body. The larvae hatch and begin to eat the material where they hatched. Larvae with pairs of fleshy legs on all abdominal segments (Box 2) are called sawflies (Order Hymenoptera). And the newly hatched caterpillars are almost invisible too. Those with 4 or fewer pairs of these legs are called “loopers” or “inchworms” because of the distinctive way that they crawl. larvae and adults in food products that contain flour, cereal, dried pet food, dog treats and all grain products. ". Life cycle drawings are from:Virginia Tech - Department of Entomology University of New Mexico - Entomology. Larvae with segmented thoracic legs but no fleshy prolegsLarval types with segmented thoracic legs but no fleshy abdominal legs are shown in Boxes 3 and 4. Leaf beetle larvae (d), like that of the Colorado potato beetle, resemble caterpillars without fleshy abdominal legs. It eats, grows and molts five times, growing up to 5/8-inch before it travels out of the product, leaving silken threads behind to where it will pupate. The eggs are so tiny that they’re almost impossible to see, according to The Pennsylvania State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences. Bad news: Your home is infested. They are good crawlers and resemble small caterpillars but lack a distinct head and legs of any sort. Freeze the flour. 5. 2. They’ll even eat chocolate, dried fruit and spices. May 8, 2015. Take an extra step that will kill any eggs, larvae or moths hiding in your food: Put your grains, flour, spices and similar products in your freezer for about a week, Hahn suggests. During its larval form, it can appear to be yellowish, greenish or pinkish in color depending on its food source. Pesticide recommendations in this publication are registered for use in Kentucky, USA ONLY! Of course, ALWAYS READ AND FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS FOR SAFE USE OF ANY PESTICIDE! They feed exposed on foliage. Flour beetles infest dried food products, such as flour… This will kill both eggs and live weevils in flour and rice. They live in standing, stagnant water, and especially seldom used drains. Lexington, KY 40546-0091 Maggots lack a head capsule, are completely legless and do not thrive in dried goods. Related: 6 Cleaning Mistakes You’re Probably Making. Products your family finishes quickly, like breakfast cereal, are probably fine sitting on shelves in sealed containers. The larvae feed on your dry pantry foods for several days. In fact, the best ways to get rid of pantry moths are natural, safe and simple. The distinct head is completely hidden within the thorax. Signs of Indian meal moth infestations in the home include: Flour beetles are also quite common in homes. There are thousands of variations of these basic forms but it is usually possible recognize its basic features and to place the specimen in one of the main groups. Insects develop from egg to adult in a process called metamorphosis which may be generally classified as either gradual or complete. If you live outside southeastern Nebraska, visit your local Extension office, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County 444 Cherrycreek Road, Suite A, Lincoln NE 68528 402-441-7180 | Office hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday with the exception of designated holidays. flour moths, larvae (small worms), and lots of strands of webs.

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