Heavy infestations of flour by this insect may cause the product to turn greyish or mould prematurely. This insect can also impart a nauseous smell and taste from its scent glands to the material infested. Both adults and larvae cause damage.
This beetle is an extremely important pest of flour, but also feeds on moist milled grain products, grain dust and broken kernels, processed beans, nuts, spices, chocolate, and pharmaceuticals once these products are damaged by primary stored food products.
Females will deposit 400-500 eggs in food or food sacks during a 2 or more year life span. Eggs hatch in 5-12 days; the larvae can mature within 22 days or as long as 120 days depending on temperature, type of foodstuff and relative humidity. The life cycle for one generation is 20 days. The reproductive rate, as a result, is usually higher as well. This species is capable of flight, but seldom flies.