What Are the Little Small Brown Bugs That Are Found on Kitchen Counters & Cupboards?

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Homeowners often find a variety of small bugs in their kitchens. Small brown bugs, worms or moths in your kitchen cupboards and on counter tops are often the first sign of an insect infestation. It is important to properly identify pests, so you can take the appropriate steps to reduce infestations inside your home.


Sawtoothed grain beetles are common household pests and often stay where flour or sugar has been spilt or in your cereal boxes. These brown bugs are about 1/10 inch long, flat and elongated in shape. They are characterised by the six sawthoothed spikes on their sides. Granary weevils are another common kitchen pest. These are reddish-brown to black and have no wings. Granary weevils feed on grains and place their eggs inside kernels of wheat. Cockroaches are familiar pests that are found in kitchen cupboards and on counters. German cockroaches are smaller, about 1.5cm long. These roaches are light golden brown and have two dark bands near the head. Cockroaches can cause health problems and spread diseases.


Sawthoothed grain beetles are often brought into homes in grocery bags or packaged grains. These beetles are also found in nuts, dried fruit and seeds. They lay their eggs inside packaged food where they hatch and feed on food products. Granary weevils are found feeding on grain products and are usually found in pantries and cupboards. German cockroaches may been seen on countertops, cabinets and around sinks foraging for food and water. Cockroaches can cause people to have severe allergic reactions, asthma and bronchitis. These pests have also been associated with diseases such as dysentery.

Cultural Control

Controlling insect infestations is best accomplished by keeping all food storage areas clean. Purchase food in a manner that allows you to use it quickly and discard all insect-infested food products. Seal gaps around plumbing, place screens on your windows and inspect grocery items for signs of insect infestation before placing them in your home. Empty indoor trash containers frequently, avoid leaving pet food out overnight and keep your sink free from dirty dishes and food. Vacuum regularly in areas with insect infestations, especially areas where food particles are often found, such as underneath the kitchen table. Cockroaches are drawn to water, so eliminating their source of water will reduce their population. Empty your pet's water dish at night, tighten all loose plumbing and avoid over-watering your indoor plants.

Chemical Control

Sawtoothed grain beetles and granary weevils may be sprayed with insecticides containing pyrethrins, resmethrin or sumithrin. Cockroaches are best controlled with baits or traps that capture the roach and cause it to die. Sticky traps work well when placed near doors, underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks and near the garbage can. Sprinkling boric acid around your home can poison cockroaches and reduce their populations.