The danger is less than might be assumed, but the infestation with bread beetles is certainly annoying and disgusting. It’s not just bread that can be infested. Even the small insects do not stop at tea, muesli or spices. The tricky thing is that you don’t notice a bread beetle immediately, but often only when it starts a reconnaissance flight through the kitchen. We do not have to be careful about the reddish-brown mini-beetles, but the greedy larvae. So you recognize the annoying bread beetles and make them harmless.
Beetle minis under the microscope
With the naked eye, it becomes difficult to recognize the bread beetle right away. The reddish-brown plague spirit is only about three millimeters long. If the pests are in droves in the kitchen, you will be able to recognize them easily. Only those who take a closer look at a beetle will find out more details. If you look at the small wings with the magnifying glass, you can discover points and many small hairs on them.
In case of imminent danger, the bread beetle can pull its head in. Then only the body remains visible. Another typical characteristic are the sensors, which are greatly enlarged at the front end. In loose substances, such as your breakfast muesli, flour or dust sugar, the bread beetle often leaves sprouts. Cocoons can also be found. The actual damage comes from the white larvae, which are three to five millimeters in size. These nest easily in paper or cardboard packaging and do not shy away from thin plastic cans. The bread beetle also seems flexible in taste: biscuits, chocolate and even books and pictures are on the menu.
Are foods still edible with bread beetles?
If the bread beetle has done all the work, you will probably be overwhelmed with a whole stack of contaminated food. Don’t worry, it looks worse than it actually is. Infested foods can theoretically continue to be consumed. Those who eat the dead larvae will, at worst, absorb an extra portion of protein and may be reminded of the jungle camp.
Bread beetles are completely non-toxic, do not bite and cannot harm our health. Nevertheless, everything should aim to get rid of the pests quickly. This means that the storage of the affected foods is not really an option, because that is how you grow more generations of bread beetles, which is certainly not in your interest.
Fighting bread beetles – what to do?
If you have seen bread beetles swirling through your kitchen or discovered their bodies on the window sill, quick action is required. First of all, we need to identify the foods concerned. Small holes are visible on the packaging on closer inspection. There, the fully developed beetles have already sought their way to freedom. It can be assumed that there are still several larvae in the bags and boxes. Therefore, all suspicious-looking containers should go to the garbage.
The adult beetles fly through the room, but do not eat food. Nevertheless, the pests have to be eliminated in a timely manner, so that they do not multiply and the cycle begins from the beginning. If you want to make sure that no new beetles form in the remaining food residues, put them in the freezer overnight or put the food or items in the oven for two hours. The temperature should be 60 degrees.
Home remedies as weapons against bread beetles
Handling pesticides in the kitchen would not be a good idea. After all, you want to stay there and eat and cook. Therefore, gentle and effective home remedies are the better choice.
First of all, it makes sense to purchase suitable containers. Instead of thin plastic, airtight glass containers are the better solution. You have to reach a little deeper into your pocket, but you won’t make an acquaintance with bread beetle larvae in the future.
Kieselgur is suitable for the removal of bread beetles in the food cabinet. It is a substance that is completely harmless to us human beings, in fact nothing more than pure lime. The eggs and larvae of the pest are reliably killed. Kieselgur can be commercially available in powder form as well as as a spray. You can also go to organic pest control if you need help getting rid of the pests.