Grain beetle

Grain Insect Control

Grain Insects Overview

Grain insects generally fall into two categories: grain beetles and meal moths. This page will focus on beetles, which include the saw-toothed grain beetle, the drugstore beetle and the cigarette beetle. While there are differences between these pests, the identification and grain insect control strategies are the same.

Where are They Found?


Grain insects, also known as stored product pests or pantry pests, will lay their eggs in or on grain products in your home or facility. When the eggs hatch, the larvae feed and grow until they are ready to pupate. At that time, they spin a cocoon, develop within and emerge as a new generation of adult beetles. Because indoor conditions are usually fairly stable without major fluctuations in temperature, multiple life cycles can be completed in a year and problems can be ongoing. 

These pests can penetrate packaging and will infest a wide range of edible materials, including pet food, bird seed, flour, cereals, nuts, spices, pasta and rice.

What Makes Grain Insects Harmful?


Grain insects do not bite and generally pose no serious health threat to humans. However, their presence can cause mass food spoilage. In a commercial environment, their presence may result in failed food safety inspections and also cause damage to budgets.

Signs Grain Insects are Present in Your Home or Facility


There are several ways you can detect grain insects in your home:

  • You see them crawling around inside food packages or on pantry shelves
  • You identify webbing or cocoons in food packages
  • You find small holes in packaging

In a commercial setting, they may be found in the same way, or they may be detected using a pheromone trap that has been deployed for that exact purpose.



The best way to prevent a pantry pest infestation is by practicing good sanitation. If a problem develops, the source of the infestation is usually a forgotten food item in the back of a cabinet or dry pet food and bird seed.

If you do get an infestation, you need to throw away all the impacted food. Vacuum the empty shelves to remove any insects and food particles and store new food products in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers.

Braman will then send one of our highly trained technicians to your home to apply our grain insect removal methods. These include targeted applications of insecticides, insect growth regulators and pheromone traps. It is extremely important to have Braman’s experts manage your grain insect pest control problem because incomplete treatment will allow survivors to re-infest your home.

If a problem is discovered in a commercial setting, a careful product inspection can help identify the specific offending product, or areas where there is spillage or sanitation issues, which can then be removed or resolved. To eliminate the problem, we may use the previous stated methods.

Grain insects can be very difficult to eradicate without professional help. If you suspect that you have a pantry pest problem, contact us right away.

satisfaction guaranteed

Tell us about your pest problem. We can provide a free estimate over the phone.

Call Braman 24/7 at 800-338-6757


Fun Fact

The tiny sawtoothed grain beetle gets its name from the six saw-like projections on each side of its thorax near its front legs.

Fun Fact

The drugstore beetle will feed on items that you would most frequently find in drugstores or pharmacies like tobacco products, dog treats, chocolate, drugs and breakfast cereals.