The Sawtoothed Grain Beetle, a Stored Product Pest


(A) Sawtoothed grain beetles are very small (approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inch long) insects that infest many of the same foods as Indianmeal moths. Shown here (circled) are adult sawtoothed grain beetles infesting oatmeal.

(B) Sawtoothed grain beetles get their name from the saw-like row of pointed teeth on either side of the body, just behind the head.

Sawtoothed grain beetles, Oryzaephilus surinamensis, are nearly as common as the Indianmeal moth, and infest many of the same foods (especially bird seed, breakfast cereals, chocolate, and dried fruits and nuts). Adults are small (approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inch long) and flat. They can be identified, aided by use of a hand lens or magnifying glass, by the row of pointed teeth located on each side of the thorax, just behind the head (B).

Their small size allows easy entry into small or minute cracks, including creases in food packaging. Sawtoothed grain beetles sometimes hide in and around outside layers of packaging and then enter when the package is opened. Adult beetles are most commonly found in the kitchen in or near their food source. The nonflying sawtoothed grain beetle adults are very active, long-lived (6 to 8 months or more), and the adults feed.




“Stored Product Pests in the Home” is a production of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Georgia. The original authors of this content are Daniel R. Suiter, Michael D. Toews and Lisa M. Ames.