Close up of a merchant grain beetle on a counter - Keep beetles away with Kona Coast Pest Control in Kailua Kona

Merchant Grain Beetle

Actual Size: 1/10”

Characteristics: Dark brown; six saw-like teeth on each side of their bodies.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, and can fly.

Habitat: Commonly found in food manufacturing, storage, retail facilities, and home pantries.


  • Incapable of attacking whole, sound grain kernels.
  • Similar in appearance to the sawtoothed beetle, but cannot fly.
  • A single female can lay up to 250 eggs within cracks of kernels of grain.

Merchant Grain Beetles in Kailua Kona

Throughout the United States, the merchant grain beetle is a familiar stored product pest found in grain storage facilities, food warehouses, grocery stores, and homes. These beetles closely resemble the sawtoothed grain beetle, with the key difference being that the sawtoothed grain beetle cannot fly, while the merchant grain beetle can. They are not able to infest sound grain kernels but can invade broken kernels of grain and packaged materials. The merchant beetles will contaminate the food they infest, but can also cause excess moisture, which leads to mold problems.

Merchant Grain Beetle Habitat

A single female can potentially lay up to 250 eggs in the crevices of grain kernels. The larvae do most of the damage to the food product, however, the adult beetles are what most people encounter. This is usually how an infestation is discovered, as an adult will emerge from the product and wander around a pantry area. The beetles are usually found in home pantries or retail, storage, or manufacturing facilities. The pest infests and contaminates dry goods, cornmeal, biscuits, rolled oats, dried pet food, bread, nuts, brownie mixes, cake mixes, sugar, chocolate, candy, macaroni, cereals, and breakfast foods.

Merchant Grain Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Merchant grain beetles are a nuisance pest that is capable of contaminating food that they infest. With this in mind, they do not carry or transmit any diseases, nor do they bite or sting people. Adults are capable of entering soft packaging and sealed cardboard and usually enter the home via infested products that were purchased at the grocery store. The initial infestation often takes place in a manufacturing facility and then travels to your home through larvae and adults. If you suspect a merchant grain beetle issue on your property, contact your local pantry pest control experts.