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What On Earth Is A Saw toothed Beetle?

Saw toothed grain beetle illustration

Saw toothed! That sounds bad, doesn't it? Well, it is. But not for the reasons you might think. The saw toothed grain beetle gets its name because it has 6 pointed bumps coming out each side of its thorax (middle section) that give it a saw-like appearance on both sides, but don't worry. Those saws aren't dangerous. The reason you should be nervous about these insects isn't that they will harm you. It is that they get into the food products you buy from the store and lay their eggs there. Are you disturbed yet? It gets better. These eggs are hard to see because they are so small, or they are tucked in a piece of grain. It is usually only when these eggs hatch and grow to their larvae stage, that you will begin to notice them. This is when they start making webbing in your food that is sort of like a cocoon covering. Before this obvious warning sign appears, you could be eating bugs. Lots of bugs! That is why it is important to check the food you buy, and to immediately address an infestation in your pantry when it first rears its ugly head.

What products do saw toothed beetles infest?

You can find these 1/10 inch long insects infesting flours, breakfast foods, meals, poultry feeds, nutmeats, coconuts, and pet foods like bird seed. Pretty much any food that has a plant origin! You won't find these bugs boring into bacon or hamburger.

How do I protect myself from saw toothed beetles?

There are four major defense strategies that work to protect your home from saw toothed beetles and other pantry pests:

  1. Your first line of defense will take place at the grocery store or farmers market. When you purchase anything that comes in paper or cardboard, examine it closely for chew marks, holes, or a bad seal. If it looks like something could have gotten in there, don't take the chance of buying it and bringing it home.
  2. Put all your pantry foods inside hard plastic, sealed containers. If you accidentally bring a tainted package of food back to your pantry, you'll have less chance of the beetles infesting other things on your shelves.
  3. If your items are not in hard plastic, be sure to rotate food properly. Put new foods on the back of your shelves and older food to the front to ensure that the older foods get used first. And keep track of expiration dates. If something is past due, throw it out.
  4. Have ongoing, year-round, pest services from a professional. There are many bugs and furry invaders that want to get into your food, not just saw toothed beetles. When you have a pest plan, your home, and your pantry is more resistant to pests.

There you go. Mystery solved. Now you know what saw toothed beetles are and what to look for. For more insight on the pests that might break into your home, browse our past blogs by clicking the blog button on the bar at the top of our page. And remember, if you need help eliminating pests from your home; give Big Blue Bug a call!