Saw-toothed Grain Beetle

(Oryzaephilus surinamensis L.)

Introduction: The saw-toothed grain beetle is approximately 1/8” long and are brown in color. They are quite active and their flattened body allows them to crawl into very small crevices. Their common name is derived from six saw-like teeth that are on each side of the thorax. The saw-toothed grain beetle is distributed worldwide and can be found commonly in stored grain.

Habits: Saw-toothed grain beetle adults have developed wings, yet, there is no record of the beetle flying. Due to this, saw-toothed grain beetles must be introduced from contaminated grain or foodstuffs. Adults and larva both will cause damage to foodstuffs and they have been known to invade every available package or food stored near an infestation. Adult females can produce up to 285 eggs in a lifetime and these eggs can be deposited singly or in small batches in some crevice of the food supply. The larva thrives on foodstuffs of vegetable origin such as rice, wheat, corn, breakfast foods, nuts, etc. They crawl about the grain feeding on broken kernels, but may also tunnel into kernels to feed. Large populations can develop quickly and infestations are often widespread throughout an area.

Control: To minimize potential infestations all dried food products should be stored in plastic or glass containers with a tight lid. If saw-toothed grain beetles are observed, the first step is to locate infested items or source of infestation. All dried food products need to be inspected for presence of damage, larva, or adults. Do not forget to check pet food and bird seed stored in the basement or garage. All infested food products should be discarded in an outdoor trash receptacle and cabinets where the infestation was located should be cleaned. A pest management professional can be tremendous help in discovering and alleviating a saw-toothed grain beetle infestation. Cook’s Pest Control offers professional treatments for the control of stored product pests and our pest management professionals are thoroughly trained to address all your pest problems.


About Beetles

  • Although most beetles don’t bite or carry disease, they can still be a nuisance when they get into stored food.
  • A few species even attack wood inside the home.
  • It’s easy to mistake some beetles for cockroaches, but your Cook’s professional knows the difference.