The New International Encyclopædia/Flour Beetle

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Edition of 1905. See also Flour beetle on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

FLOUR BEETLE, or Weevil. Any of several species of minute, flattened, reddish tenebrionid beetles infesting flour, meal, and all sorts of stored manufactured cereals. They may do great damage in warehouses and mills, the annual loss in the United States from this cause amounting to $100,000 or more, and constantly increasing. Our most common species are Tribolium confusum and Tribolium ferrugineum, which lay their eggs in cracks of barrels, etc., which hatch speedily into minute larvæ that feed upon the flour and then transform into pupæ. These develop into adults so rapidly that in favorably warm places several broods a year may arise. The beetles often bore holes into the wood. Nothing short of thorough scalding will efface them, but painted receptacles aid in keeping them out. Larger beetles of similar habits are called meal-worms (q.v.).