Drugstore Beetle

(Stegobium paniceum L.)

Drugstore Beetle (Stegobium paniceum L.) and Cigarette Beetle (Lasioderma serricorne F.)

Introduction: Both beetles are cylindrical, approximately 1/10” long, are a uniform brown to reddish brown, and have longitudinal rows of fine hairs on their elytra (wing covers). Drugstore beetles are similar in appearance to the cigarette beetle; however, the antennae of the cigarette beetle are serrated (resemble teeth on a saw) while the antennae of the drugstore beetle are not. Also, the elytra of the drugstore beetle have rows of pits giving them a lined appearance while the elytra of the cigarette beetle are smooth.

Habits: Drugstore beetles are worldwide in distribution, but are more abundant in warmer regions or in heated structures in temperate climates. The drugstore beetle will attack such a wide variety of foods and material that one entomologist stated that they “eat anything except cast iron.” Adult female drugstore beetles lay eggs singly in foodstuffs such as, flour, meal, breakfast foods, bread, books, etc. The larval period ranges from four to five months and the complete life cycle requires seven months. The cigarette beetle can be found worldwide especially wherever dried tobacco in the form of leaves, cigars, cigarettes, or chewing tobacco is stored. Adults are strong fliers, most active at dusk and the adults do not feed but will drink liquids. Cigarette beetle adult females will lay 10 to 100 eggs in foodstuffs such as tobacco, flour, dried fruit, cereal, cocoa, herbs, pet food, etc. The larval period ranges from five to ten weeks and the complete life cycle is 70 to 90 days.

Control: If a drugstore or cigarette beetle infestation is discovered in the home, then locating the source of infestation is the first and most important step. All food containers and items should be checked for infestation. Heavily infested items should be wrapped in heavy plastic, taken outside and thrown away. Unaffected items can be cold- or heat-treated to ensure that any undetected infestations are killed. To prevent re-infestation, clean up spilled flour, mixes, or crumbs and thoroughly vacuum and clean areas where the contaminated items were stored. Also, store foods in airtight glass, metal or plastic containers to help prevent infestations. A pest management professional can provide help in discovering and alleviating a drugstore or cigarette beetle infestation. Cook’s Pest Control offers professional treatments for the control of stored product pests and our pest management professionals are thoroughly trained to address all your pest problems.

 

About Beetles

  • Although most beetles don’t bite or carry disease, they can still be a nuisance when they get into stored food.
  • A few species even attack wood inside the home.
  • It’s easy to mistake some beetles for cockroaches, but your Cook’s professional knows the difference.