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Latin Name: Tenebrio molitor

Description:

The adult is brown-black color (hence the choice of the term Tenebrio)
It reaches 1.5 cm in length on average (1.2 to 1.8 cm).
The larva is worm shaped and is brown-yellow in color. It is called mealworm.
At the end of its development, the larva can be longer (can exceed 2.5 cm)
but remains thinner than the adult.
The adult has wings but doesn’t really use them.

Reproduction:

The beetle reproduces relatively quickly: the complete development cycle
takes place in two to three months, if the conditions are favorable (25-27 ° C)
but it may take up to a year in nature.
The female lays very small and transparent eggs that are very hard to detect in the flour.
From these eggs, tiny white larvae will come out and they will get their color gradually.

The number of larval stages, separated by molts, is variable but it is at least 8
to a maximum exceeding 20.
The insect is able to adjust the speed of its discontinuous development
to external conditions. It tends to grow more and do more larval molts
if it finds food in abundance and if it lives in contact with other larvae.
(Giving bigger adults).
Otherwise, it will tend to metamorphose more slowly if food sources
are rare or if it is isolated (giving smaller adults).
It is also adapted to living in desert conditions.

The life of the nymph lasts for  6 to 20 days depending on temperature
and adults can live for a few weeks (less than 2 months) during which
the female performs several egg laying cycles (a few hundred eggs in total).

Habits:

The larva usually digs tunnels in various substances to hibernate,
including wood or cardboard. Larvae and adults live in  dark and hidden places

They feed on maize, wheat, graham flour and seeds.However, they prefer the germ to the seed,
The adult can also eat meat.
It is often found in feed mills and farm buildings
where it will usually infest animal feeds.
In homes, it feeds mainly on decaying organic matter.
It is usually found near or in bird nests and close to garbage chutes.

Prevention:

The best method is to combine a good cleaning and chemical treatment.

You must eliminate sources of food and shelter for these insects before
treatment.

You must clean any soiled surface of food or decomposing organic matter.

Then a pest control specialist should apply a residual insecticide spray in cracks and crevices
around infested areas.

The treatments should be administered by specialists to
ensure that all sources of infection are treated.

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