Open Integrated Pest Management Education Resource
Sawtoothed Grain Beetle
(Oryzaephilus surinamensis) and
Merchant Grain Beetle
Integrated Pest Management Plan
Sawtoothed Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus surinamensis) and Merchant Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus mercator) Integrated Pest Management Plan
This document contains information about the biology and management of the Sawtoothed and Merchant grain beetles. A range of management options is listed. From this list, the IPM Practitioner can choose options to develop a unique management plan for each particular customer site.
Management Objectives for the Pest at the Particular Site
What do you want/need to accomplish at the site in regard to the grain beetles?
The answer to this question will vary, depending on the site and the customer. Some examples are:
Sawtoothed and Merchant Grain Beetle Identification
Why the Sawtoothed and Merchant Grain Beetle are Considered Pests
Special Regulatory Conditions
California Health and Safety Code Sections that relate to cleanliness in food establishments:
114010. “All food shall be prepared, stored, displayed, dispensed, placed, transported, sold, and served as to be protected from dirt, vermin, unnecessary handling, droplet contamination, overhead leakage, or other contamination.”
114030. “A food facility shall at all times be so constructed, equipped, maintained, and operated as to prevent the entrance and harborage of animals, birds, and vermin, including, but not limited to, rodents and insects.”
114040. “The premises of each food facility shall be kept clean and free of litter, rubbish, and vermin.”
114050. “All food facilities and all equipment, utensils, and facilities shall be kept clean, fully operative, and in good repair.”
Biology and Behavior of the Sawtoothed and Merchant Grain Beetle
To be successful, management strategies must take into consideration the biology and behavior of the pest. Understanding the biology of a pest can reveal weaknesses and vulnerabilities that can be exploited when trying to manage the pest.
Factors that Favor Grain Beetles
Monitoring and Record Keeping
The purpose of monitoring is to track pest activity in order to catch small problems before they become overwhelming. Monitoring makes it possible to pinpoint pest activity so treatments can be targeted. Monitoring also makes it possible to properly time pest management actions and to evaluate the effectiveness of those actions. Records are kept to document the methods and products used and to record information that can be used to fine-tune pest management methods and plan future actions.
A commercially available sticky trap that is baited with a pheromone will capture male beetles. This can be used to monitor for the presence of this pest.
Supplies should be stored up off the floor on pallets or shelves and away from the wall at least 18” to allow for thorough inspections.
The “tolerance level” is the number of beetles that triggers action to control the pest. The tolerance level is site-specific and differs depending on the customer, the location, and other factors. Determining the tolerance levels for a site helps prioritize work that must be done to control the pest.
Management of grain beetles is largely a matter of sanitation. Heat and cold can be used to kill the insects directly.
To limit availability of food
To limit shelter/harborage
Physical controls employ physical means to remove beetles from the structure or to kill them directly.
Chemical controls are not recommended for grain beetles.
The IPM Partnership
The PCO-Customer Partnership is Very Important
IPM works best when the customer and Pestec form a partnership to tackle the pest problem. Grain beetles cannot be managed satisfactorily without the cooperation of the customer, especially in the area of sanitation. Pestec will discuss the findings of the initial inspection and any subsequent monitoring sessions with the customer to determine which issues and tasks will be the responsibility of Pestec and which will be the responsibility of the customer.
Information is a powerful tool in IPM. Information can help change people’s behavior, particularly in how they store food and dispose of waste. Changing these behaviors is a necessary part of managing stored product pests. Occupants of buildings and homeowners can also help in the early detection of pests so that Pestec can be alerted before the problem is severe.
Pestec’s highly trained and knowledgeable staff can provide pest management education or training sessions for facilities managers, risk managers, building occupants, homeowner associations, and others.