Identification: Differences Between Pantry Beetles and Pantry Moths

Often the first indication of a pantry pest infestation is the appearance of small moths flying about or the presence of beetles in or near a food package.

The moths are considered the flying pantry pests. The weevils and beetles are the crawling pantry pest, except the Red Flour Beetle will fly and crawl.

The pantry moths fly in a zig zag pattern and the pantry beetles and weevils can be seen many times on counter tops and inside cabinets. Of the pantry flour beetles, the red flour beetle can fly, while the confused flour beetle does not fly.

Adult moths and adult beetles are easy to distinguish from each other, but their larvae are a little harder to see the visible differences.

Using a magnifier and flash light, should help you identify the larvae.

Beetle Larvae only have three pair of legs or or legless and grublike. If they do have legs, it is located near the head. The moth larvae not only have three pairs of true legs, but more legs further down the abdomen of the larvae

beetle larvae

Only the pantry moth larvae will feed on foodstuffs, not the adult pantry moths. The adult beetles will feed on the foodstuffs as well as their larvae.

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