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Riviera Pest and Falconry covers all aspects of pest control in both domestic and commercial properties in Devon.

Stored Product insect Control

SPI is a genetic term for a large group of insects that eat or damage foodstuffs and making them unfit for use. This group is mainly made up from common species of Beetles, Weevils and Moths. Tell-tale signs of an infestation will be sightings of the insects in cupboards where the products are stored or flying around the vicinity. Removing the insects will almost certainly not resolve the problem as other stages of life (eggs, larvae etc) will also be present and not easy to find.

Most common species include:

Larder Beetle
Adults are around 6-8mm long and dark brown, with a broad, pale yellow, black-spotted band across the front portion of the wing covers. There are six black dots on this band, three on each wing cover, arranged in a triangle. Females each lay over 100 eggs, which hatch in around 2 weeks. Larvae prefer meats and will bore into this meat to pupate. The life cycle is around 50 days.

Biscuit and Cigarette Beetles
Adults are about 2 – 3mm long and light brown to red brown in colour. Their bodies are covered with fine, silky hairs, and they have distinct grooves in their wing covers which can easily separate them from Tobacco Beetle. Biscuit Beetles have antenna that end in three enlarged segments.

Flour Beetles
The insects are about 3-4mm and reddish-brown in colour. The Confused Flour Beetle and the Red Flour Beetle are similar in appearance and habits. Confused Flour Beetles cannot fly but Rust Red Flour Beetle may fly. Beetles attack milled grain products such as flour and cereals. These beetles often get introduced into buildings in infested flour and can build up into large populations on food accumulations in kitchen cupboards. The life cycle is around one to four months when temperatures are favourable and the female may live for as long as 2 years.

Flour Mites
This is a common species of mite in foodstuffs; it has reddish/pinkish legs. Flour Mites can live in almost any type of flour or in fodder and in stores of seed or corn. A single female can lay up to 500-800 eggs in her lifetime at a rate of 20-30 a day. Mite infested foodstuffs acquire a sickly sweet smell and a taste which renders them unsuitable for human and animal consumption.

Spider Beetles
Adults grow up to 4.5mm long, have a roughly spherical shape and is covered in golden hairs and scales. Found in flour and feed mills, food warehousing and the domestic environment, can also be found in and around bird nests. Adults are extremely cold hardy, but free water is essential to them. They are nocturnal in foraging behaviour. A widespread pest in the food industry, larvae can bore through many types of packaging. There are usually up to 2 generations per year and the average lifespan is 9-12 months.

Warehouse/Cocoa/Tobacco Moth
A small moth, the caterpillars of which cause considerable damage to stored food products. As the name suggests it commonly attacks tobacco and cocoa, as well as grains, nuts, dried fruit and many other stored products. Adults grow up to 10mm in length with light brown wings and have dark double bands at the top and base of the wings (although these are frequently rubbed off).

Indian Meal Moth
Adult moths are about 8 to 10mm long when at rest and have a wing spread of about 18 to 20mm. When viewed from above with the wings folded over the back, the outer 1/3 of the wing appears reddish-brown or bronze coloured “at the wing tips” while the inner 2/3 of the wing “at the basal portion” is light grey to ochre-yellow. Also, the head and thorax are reddish-brown and the hind wings grey. Brown-headed larvae are dirty white, sometimes tinged pink or green. The female moth lays between 60 and 300 eggs, singly or in clusters, on or near the foodstuffs. Eggs hatch in 2 to 14 days with larvae or “tiny whitish caterpillars” dispersing within a few hours. Larvae move to foodstuffs, and feed in or near a tunnel-like case of frass and silk which they web together. Under good conditions, the entire life cycle requires six to eight weeks and can be active all year round. However, in cold climates, larvae over-winter and pupate in March.

Grain and Rice Weevil
These insects are easily recognisable by their elongated snouts (rostrum). They are the most common type pest in stored grain. They are usually found in grain storage facilities or processing plants, infesting wheat, oats, rye, barley, rice, and corn. Although not often found in the home, sometimes they infest table beans, acorns, chestnuts, birdseed, sunflower seeds, and ornamental corn. The egg, larva, and pupa stages of both weevils occur in the grain kernels and are rarely seen. Feeding is done within the grain kernel, and adults cut exit holes to emerge. Females drill a tiny hole
in the grain kernel, deposit an egg in the cavity, then plug the hole with a gelatinous secretion. The egg hatches into a young larva which bores toward the centre of the kernel, feeds, grows, and pupates there. New adults bore emergence holes from the inside, then leave to mate and begin a new generation.

TREATMENT: Control of SPI’s can be very difficult and it is highly recommended that the advice of an experienced pest control company is sought.