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Fighting bread beetles: how to get rid of the storage pest

Bread beetles belong to the family of rodent beetles and are both pests of storage and hygiene. Read here how to fight the bread beetles or how to get rid of them.

Fighting bread beetles: how to get rid of the storage pest

Adobe Stock / Hanack

The simplest way to get beetles with a vacuum cleaner – in the long run, however, this is not enough to fight them.
In this article
Bread beetle: what makes it special?
Recognize the bread beetles
Fight against beetles or bread larvae
How to Prevent a New Beetle Beetle Infestation

Bread beetle: what makes it special?

Bread beetles (Stegobium paniceum) reach a size of about 1 to 3 millimeters, their oval body is hairy and has a red to dark brown color. The larvae about 5 mm long, yellowish white are slightly curved and feed mainly on foods such as cereals, legumes, tea and chocolate, but also spices, dry animal feed , leather and pictures are not immune to them. "Stocks and stocks in bakeries, for example, are particularly at risk," says the Federal Environment Agency. This fact also gave its name to the bread beetle. "In the wild, it mainly affects bird nests," continues the UBA.

If you do not enter through the open window into the house or apartment, as the bread beetles can fly and lay their eggs mainly in said food or in dark places, the larvae regularly enter the household through already infected food. Once there, they eat through the products mentioned above. They don't stop at paper or plastic and effortlessly eat away at the packaging.

Bread beetles are not harmful to health and do not transmit diseases.

Close-up of a bread beetle (Stegobium paniceum)

Siga / Wikipedia.org

Close-up of a bread beetle (Stegobium paniceum) / Source: de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Stegobium_paniceum_bl.jpg

Recognize the bread beetles

You are most likely to recognize an infestation of spoiled food, the larvae contaminating them with excrement and linen threads. Tiny holes in infested products can be another feature of an infestation. If you find food contaminated with larvae, you should throw it out immediately.

Fight against beetles or bread larvae

The bread beetle has spread to your home – for example in the kitchen or in books? Then you must now proceed as follows.

  • The first thing to do is to eliminate the infected food. This also includes those who are right next door or who are open in the same pantry.
  • As a precaution, you can put products that are not supposed to be infested in the oven at 60 degrees for an hour or in the freezer for at least -18 degrees for a day.
  • The next step is cleaning: vacuum the affected areas with a vacuum cleaner and clean them with lukewarm water and a dash of vinegar
  • Last but not least, advice from the Federal Environment Agency: "The fight against parasitic wasps (camp wasps) specializing in the pest can also be carried out in private if the pest is known." The principle: the wasps of the camps are insects completely harmless to humans and eat the beetle larvae of bread. As soon as the wasps in the camp have eaten all the larvae in the house, their life cycle ends.

If the measures we have mentioned do not lead to success, we advise you to seek professional help from a pest control company., Sometimes, according to the Federal Environment Agency, an infestation can "also be an indication of hidden structural damage. This option should also be considered, especially in the case of a persistent infestation".

How to Prevent a New Beetle Beetle Infestation

Have you caught all the larvae and successfully eliminated them? Congratulations. In order to no longer be ravaged by them, you can take preventive measures.

  • When purchasing, make sure the packaging is intact and that there are no holes
  • It is best to transfer purchased food directly to your home. Ceramic or glass containers are particularly suitable
  • Check regularly if food can be infected
  • Mosquito nets on windows and balcony doors prevent bread beetles from entering the apartment

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