Home / Silvan Flat Bark Beetles (Silvanidae) / Merchant Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus Mercator)

Merchant Grain Beetle (Oryzaephilus Mercator)

Merchant grain beetle of the sylvan bark beetles family has an ill reputation for being hazardous pests, mostly destroying grains alongside tobacco, chocolate, fruits, and drugs. One could find these beetles throughout Canada.

Merchant Grain Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Silvanidae
  • Genus: Oryzaephilus
  • Scientific name: Oryzaephilus Mercator

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size:  2.5 mm (0.09 inches)

Color: They have an overall brown body.

Other Characteristic Features: These small beetles appear flat and slender with a narrow head, and large eyes. Another prominent physical feature is the saw-like teeth, six in number, situated on both sides of their body.

Oryzaephilus Mercator

Larva

The yellowish-white larvae have a brown head with a flattened body stature, growing up to a length of approximately 3 mm (0.11 inches). The larval stage goes through three instars lasting for about two weeks.

Merchant Grain Beetle Larvae

Pupa

After going through two or three molts, the larvae make a cocoon by joining bits of grains or kernels. They appear reddish-brown, with the pupal phase lasting between one and three weeks.

Merchant Grain Beetle Pupa

Eggs

The tiny white eggs are elongated and hatch into larvae after 35 days from when laid. A mature female mostly produces 43 to 285 eggs every 28 to 42 days.

Quick Facts

Adult lifespan6 – 10 months
Duration of larval stageApproximately 14 days
DistributionParts of Canada
HabitatShelves and cupboards mostly in the kitchen, pantries, and warehouses  
PredatorsNot recorded
Seasons active fromApril – July
Diet of larvae and adults Mostly on broken or whole-grain kernels
Merchant Grain Beetles Picture

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

Though they do not cause harm to humans or damage the furniture, these beetles lay eggs and feed on the grains and other sources, making them entirely unfit for use. There are also increased chances of mold formation inside the grains since they eventually get moist after a large population of these beetles lives inside them.

To get rid of these beetles, clean the emptied storage bins well to lessen the chances of the beetle infestation in the new grains. Applying pesticides or fumigating grains stored for more than six months is another way of controlling the beetle population.

Did You Know

  • The sawtooth grain beetle and merchant grain beetle closely resemble one another yet can be distinguished through visible differences. The former has a more triangular head and smaller eyes than the latter. The adult merchant grain beetles can fly, but the sawtooth grain beetle cannot.
Merchant Grain Beetle Image

Image Source: alchetron.com, ozanimals.com, spiru.cgahr.ksu.edu, pantrypest.com, bugguide.net

Merchant grain beetle of the sylvan bark beetles family has an ill reputation for being hazardous pests, mostly destroying grains alongside tobacco, chocolate, fruits, and drugs. One could find these beetles throughout Canada.

Merchant Grain Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult

Size:  2.5 mm (0.09 inches)

Color: They have an overall brown body.

Other Characteristic Features: These small beetles appear flat and slender with a narrow head, and large eyes. Another prominent physical feature is the saw-like teeth, six in number, situated on both sides of their body.

Oryzaephilus Mercator

Larva

The yellowish-white larvae have a brown head with a flattened body stature, growing up to a length of approximately 3 mm (0.11 inches). The larval stage goes through three instars lasting for about two weeks.

Merchant Grain Beetle Larvae

Pupa

After going through two or three molts, the larvae make a cocoon by joining bits of grains or kernels. They appear reddish-brown, with the pupal phase lasting between one and three weeks.

Merchant Grain Beetle Pupa

Eggs

The tiny white eggs are elongated and hatch into larvae after 35 days from when laid. A mature female mostly produces 43 to 285 eggs every 28 to 42 days.

Quick Facts

Adult lifespan6 – 10 months
Duration of larval stageApproximately 14 days
DistributionParts of Canada
HabitatShelves and cupboards mostly in the kitchen, pantries, and warehouses  
PredatorsNot recorded
Seasons active fromApril – July
Diet of larvae and adults Mostly on broken or whole-grain kernels
Merchant Grain Beetles Picture

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

Though they do not cause harm to humans or damage the furniture, these beetles lay eggs and feed on the grains and other sources, making them entirely unfit for use. There are also increased chances of mold formation inside the grains since they eventually get moist after a large population of these beetles lives inside them.

To get rid of these beetles, clean the emptied storage bins well to lessen the chances of the beetle infestation in the new grains. Applying pesticides or fumigating grains stored for more than six months is another way of controlling the beetle population.

Did You Know

  • The sawtooth grain beetle and merchant grain beetle closely resemble one another yet can be distinguished through visible differences. The former has a more triangular head and smaller eyes than the latter. The adult merchant grain beetles can fly, but the sawtooth grain beetle cannot.
Merchant Grain Beetle Image

Image Source: alchetron.com, ozanimals.com, spiru.cgahr.ksu.edu, pantrypest.com, bugguide.net

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