The Warehouse Beetle
The warehouse beetle (Trogoderma variabile) is one of the largest parasites of grains in Canada. It can be recognized by its bicoloured dark and light brown body. It’s oval-shaped and measures 2 to 4.6 mm when fully grown. The larva is whitish with reddish-brown shades and numerous hairs. It can reach 6 mm. The warehouse beetle is attracted by daylight. It flies very well, so it can often be found near windows and light shafts. The presence of adult warehouse beetles is inconsequential. However, they are usually accompanied by larvae, which will wreak havoc.
The lifestyle of the warehouse beetle
As its common name suggests, the warehouse beetle is very present in warehouses, but it can also be found in food processing establishments. It seeks out cracks and crevices in boxes, burlap sacks, and other materials where it can hide for long periods.
The larva of the warehouse beetle is one of the largest parasites of dried food. It feeds on stored grains, legumes, nuts, dried food for animals, dehydrated food, and fresh fruits and vegetables. For its part, the adult feeds exclusively on flower pollen and nectar.
The female warehouse beetle will lay up to 80 eggs in optimal conditions. These conditions are between 17 °C and 37 °C. At this temperature, the eggs deposited on the food hatch in two weeks, and the larvae reach adult age in 45 days.
The risks associated with warehouse beetles
It’s the warehouse beetle larva that is the most damaging. Since it attacks food, it can destroy a large portion of the stock in a warehouse. If found in a house, the hairs on its body can—in large numbers—cause skin allergies and gastrointestinal irritations if ingested through contaminated food. An expert from ExterminaPro can identify and control a warehouse beetle infestation.