Verify the identify of SPP


October 23, 2023

Anna Berry

Anna Berry, BCE

Store product pests (SPP) are commonly linked to specific environments such as pantries, dry food processing facilities, or the baking aisle of a grocery store. Sometimes, we hastily identify an insect as SPP solely based on the environment where we encounter it. Our subconscious tends to assume, “We found these little beetles on a flour pallet, so they must be flour beetles.” While this assumption may often hold true, we must remember that various pests can infiltrate the same areas without necessarily living in the food like SPP do.

For instance, those beetles on the pallet might be wood-boring beetles infesting the wooden pallet itself. The beetles near the wall-floor junction in a grocery store might be ground beetles that wandered in. Even the beetles caught in the food-processing facility’s ILTs could be hairy fungus beetles (Typhaea stercorea) from the exterior of the building.

Always verify the identification to avoid making assumptions based solely on the insect’s presence in a stored product environment. Taking the time to double- and even triple-check the identification will lead to more accurate pest management strategies.


About the Author

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BERRY is a technical director at B&G Equipment. Previously, she worked as training manager for McCloud Pest Management Solutions, South Elgin, Ill. She is a Board Certified Entomologist, ServSafe certified and instructor and proctor for the National Restaurant Association and is certified in HACCP. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in grain science from Kansas State University.

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