How to Get Rid of Grain Beetles

How to Get Rid of Grain Beetles

Are you tired of finding grain beetles crawling around in your pantry or flying around in your kitchen? Also referred to as “grain bugs,” these tiny reddish-brown pests are a common nuisance for many homeowners — but luckily, there are ways to get rid of them. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best methods for eliminating grain beetles and keeping your home pest-free.

Read more: How to Get Rid of Grain Beetles

What are Grain Beetles?

Grain beetles are tiny reddish-brown bugs that are commonly found in pantries and kitchens. They are attracted to grains, cereal, flour, and other dry food products. These pests can also be brought into the home through infested products from the grocery store.


Besides being identifiable by their small size and reddish-brown color, the grain beetle can also be distinguished by its antennae and their elongated, segmented oval bodies. Although it has wings, they are not noticeable. These insects also have six legs and typically measure only 2 to 3 millimeters in length — making them quite challenging to spot.

Due to their similar appearance, grain beetles are often mistaken for other pests like carpet beetles or cockroaches.


There are several types of grain beetles that can infest your home, including:

  • Saw Toothed Grain Beetles: These are the most commonly found species and have a distinctive saw-like appearance on their thorax.
  • Merchant Grain Beetles: These bugs have a flattened body shape and are often found in stored food products. Unlike saw toothed grain beetles, Merchant Grain Beetles have the ability to fly.
  • Foreign Grain Beetles: These are smaller than the other species and have a distinct V-shaped marking on their thorax.

Where Do Grain Beetles Come From?

The grain beetle can enter your home in a variety of ways, including:

  • Infested Products: Grain beetles most commonly originate from commercial food packaging factories, where they are drawn due to the abundance of grains. After this food is transported to grocery stores and bulk food bins, it can make its way into your home. Grain beetles are not picky eaters and can consume a wide array of items once they enter – from grains to home furnishings, fabric, and even wallpaper. They will also scour your home for suitable locations to lay their eggs.
  • Cracks and Openings: These tiny bugs can easily find their way in through small cracks, gaps, or openings in walls, doors, or windows.
  • Plants and Soil: Some species can be attracted to plants and soil, making it easy for them to enter through open windows or doors.

Are Grain Beetles Harmful and Do They Bite?

The good news is that grain beetles are not harmful to humans or pets — nor do they bite or transmit any diseases to humans or pets. However, they can still be a nuisance in your home, carry an unpleasant odor, and contaminate your food.

Grain Bug Prevention Tips

There are a few things you can do to prevent grain bug infestations in your home:

  • Clean and declutter your pantry: Grain bugs thrive in dark, cluttered spaces. Make sure to regularly clean and declutter your pantry to eliminate potential hiding spots for these pests. Additionally, be sure to thoroughly clean food storage areas and food spills.
  • Store food properly: Keep dry goods in airtight containers to prevent grain bugs from accessing them.
  • Check expiration dates: When purchasing food items, always check the expiration date to avoid bringing infested products into your home.
  • Check for infested products: Before buying groceries, check for signs of infestation like small holes or webbing on packaging.

How to Get Rid of Grain Beetles

If you’ve already spotted grain beetles in your home, don’t panic. There are several methods you can use to eliminate them:

  1. Dispose of infested products: The first step is to get rid of any infested food products, as these are the main source of grain beetles in your home. Discarding these items will also keep the pests from spreading to other items in your pantry. Inspect every nook and cranny – cupboards, pantry shelves, and all places where food is stored. Check inside the packages of cereals, spices, pasta, starches, rice, and all other food pantry items. Your aim is to identify items that are infested with both adults and larvae. The larvae of grain beetles resemble tiny white grubs with brown heads.
  2. Vacuum and clean up: Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to suck up any remaining beetles or eggs. Make sure you dispose of the vacuum contents outside to prevent any remaining beetles from escaping back into your home.
  3. Use sticky traps: Place sticky traps near your pantry and kitchen areas to catch any grain beetles that may be walking around. This is an effective method for monitoring and reducing the population of these pests.
  4. Chemical treatments: Another DIY method of killing grain beetles in your home is to use a chemical insecticide. However, please note that this method has a lower success rate when it comes to these types of pantry pests.

Prior to applying this substance, ensure that all food items are removed and discarded from cabinets, shelves, and pantries, leaving these areas empty. Always follow the instructions carefully and use caution when handling chemicals. Because of the dangers of using insecticides, especially in areas where food is stored, we recommend calling a professional pest control company like Dominion.

Natural Methods for Grain Beetle Elimination

Nature offers a bounty of resources that can help in combating grain beetles. These methods won’t just repel the beetles, but they also pose little to no risk to your family and the environment.

  1. Diatomaceous earth: This natural white powder is lethal to many insects, including grain beetles. It works by dehydrating the insects and damaging their exoskeletons. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the areas where you’ve spotted grain beetles and wait. It’s a slow but effective method.
  2. Essential oils: Certain essential oils like clove and peppermint are known to deter grain beetles. Add a few drops of the oil on cotton balls and place them in the areas where you’ve noticed the beetles. You can also make a natural spray by combining water, a few drops of dish soap, and the essential oil of your choice. Spray this mixture around your pantry and kitchen cabinets.
  3. Neem oil: Neem oil is a natural insecticide derived from the neem tree. It’s safe to use around food and is highly effective at killing grain beetles. Mix a small amount of neem oil with water and spray it in the areas where you’ve seen the beetles.
  4. Bay leaves and cloves: These aromatic herbs not only add flavor to your meals, but they also deter grain beetles. Simply place a few leaves or cloves in containers with grains or dry goods. The scent will create an unwelcoming environment for the beetles.

Remember that while these natural remedies can help, they’re most effective when combined with other methods.

Get Rid of Grain Beetles for Good: Call Dominion

If you have a severe infestation, it’s best to call in the experts. A professional extermination service like Dominion Pest Control goes beyond simply eliminating the current infestation: We also take measures to prevent future occurrences. Our team of experts uses proven safe and effective methods to eliminate pests from your home.

While the methods we deploy will vary depending on your situation, here are some of the ways we can help:

  1. Inspection and Identification: Our pest control begins with a thorough inspection of your home to identify the source and extent of the infestation. This helps us to determine the most effective treatment plan and allows us to target the beetles where they live and breed.
  2. Pesticides: Additionally, our team uses specialized insecticides that are designed to quickly eliminate adult beetles. Made by Nature-Cide, these commercial-grade sprays kill grain beetles instantly. Formulated with natural ingredients like clove oil, cottonseed oil, and glycerin, they are also environmentally friendly and completely safe — even around children and pets. In addition to or in place of Nature-Cide, we may also utilize dual-action insecticides that they kill adult grain beetles while also employing an IGR (or Insect Growth Regulator). This prevents the bugs’ eggs, pupa, and larvae from turning into adults. The best part? The pesticides we use have a residual effect that can remain effective for several months.
  3. Preventative Measures: After the infestation is under control, we implement preventative measures to keep it that way. This can include sealing cracks and crevices where beetles can enter, installing door sweeps, and advising on proper food storage practices.
  4. Regular Follow-ups: Long-term grain beetle control is most effective when it includes regular maintenance and follow-ups. You have the option of scheduling regular inspections and treatments with our team to ensure that your home remains bug-free.


Grain beetles can contaminate food products and cause damage to pantry items. They also reproduce quickly, so it’s important to take action and get rid of them as soon as you spot them in your home.

In order to completely eliminate your grain beetle problem, contact a trained pest control specialist like Dominion Pest Control. Call us today at (717) 393-7879 or contact us here for a free consultation.

Don’t let grain beetles take over your kitchen – take action now!