Don’t be fooled into believing the Drugstore Beetle is only after pet foods found in a pharmacy. This pest’s appetite encompasses a broad spectrum. They will make any place home with stored food; they are not choosey when finding something to eat.

The Drugstore beetles have a worldwide distribution, yet these pests are more prevalent in warmer regions.

Another name for a Drugstore beetle is a Bread or Biscuit beetle due to their lengthy past of intruding upon pharmacies,  corrupting the integrity of the herbs and various other stored foods and drugs. However, the most popular place these “drugstore” pests stay is inside our homes.

What does a Drugstore Beetle look like?

Close-up view of a Drugstore Beetle with a cylinder body

The scientific name for the drugstore beetle is Stegobium paniceum (Linnaeus) (Insecta: Coleoptera: Anobiidae)

An adult Drugstore beetle is an even brown to a reddish brown-brown hue. They grow to a length of one-tenth to one-seventh of an inch (2.25 to 3.5 millimeters). The body shape is like a cylinder, with fine, lengthwise rows of hairs on the wing covers.

The Drugstore and cigarette beetle resemble each other often; people confuse them. However, there are two distinct characteristics between these two pests. The cigarette and diet drugstore beetles have serrated antennae -- like a saw’s teeth. At the same time, the drugstore beetle’s antennae have a different shape, with the end as a three-piece club.

One more difference is how the elytra (or wing covers) look. The drugstore and cigarette beetles are pitted with the look of being striated or lined. The cigarette beetle’s wings have a smoother appearance.

Is a Drugstore Beetle harmful?

Although drugstore beetles are a nuisance, they are not harmless to pets or humans. A very adult drugstore beetle also consumes several drugs, even poisonous substances, like strychnine and belladonna.

They will then infest our food storage areas. Infesting things such as wheat, almonds, paprika, red pepper, peanuts, wheat bran, alfalfa meal, flour, cornmeal, wheat germ, beans, bread, and even dry dog food and pet food. These pests are durable survivors, laying their eggs in a wide range of food sources and materials.

What is the diet drugstore beetles survive on?

A bottle of medicine and prescription drugs - tablets

Drugstore beetles got this moniker because it constantly consumes prescription drugs. In addition to drugs, they also eat cookies, flour, bread, dry mixes, chocolates, spices, and various sweets. Besides these food items, they consume nonfood items, including leather, hair, horns, wool, and specimens from a museum.

They commonly bore into objects such as books and wood, aluminum foil, tin, and lead sheets. The most amount of harm these pests create to museum specimens is when their larva feeds on herbarium and museum specimens. Even the smallest amount of damage can ruin these valuable items.

There is a specific reason a drugstore beetle larvae can survive on things of little nutritional value. This is due to the B vitamins in the yeast harbored by drugstore beetles. As their eggs pass through the oviduct, this yeast is laid onto them first. The larvae then eat it during the hatching of the eggs.

Drugstore beetles prefer areas with temperate climates, thriving in places that are undisturbed, warm, and dark. They are often discovered living in flour mills, food storage areas, bakeries, retail stores, and even our homes.

If you have any stored food products, ensure you inspect them carefully. This includes food stored in a plastic bag. These pests can also wreak havoc on stored grains, bird seeds, your pet food, and items you don't eat.

Some of the food sources and the non-food items that are at risk include fur, wool, book bindings, books, and museum relics.

What is a Cigarette Beetle?

The drugstore and cigarette beetles are closely related and often mistaken for one another. A cigarette beetle, or Lasioderma serricorne, and adult drugstore beetles, Stegobium paniceum, are known to infest products that contain tobacco.

However, red pepper, ginger, raisins, dates, and figs are also appetizing to the Stegobium paniceum. In addition, the cigarette beetle can fly, allowing it to enter a building by flying through an open window.

The cigarette beetle larvae are similar to the Stegobium paniceum drugstore beetles larvae. Starting out as small and white grubs, later forming into scarab-like instars.

What are Biscuit beetles?

What does a biscuit beetle look like

Stegobium paniceum is the scientific term for drugstore, biscuit, or bread beetles. This bug is one of the most popular insect pests that infest food storage. And they are capable of consuming animal and plant products, a food source that encompasses flour, bread, pharmaceuticals, and even spices.

People will typically recognize the adult beetles first. Tiny in size, 5/64 to 5/32 of an inch long (2-4 millimeters)! Their coloring is a reddish brown; if put under a microscope, you will see the fine hairs and grooves on the wing cases going lengthwise.

What are Furniture beetles/ woodworms?

These little bread beetles are a bit bigger, coloring slightly darker, with legs longer than their antennae. (Similar lengths to that of the bread beetle). The common furniture beetle is often mistaken for the biscuit beetle because of their similarities.

The antennae have three sections that are flattened towards the tip. The top section of the thorax hides the head of this tiny beetle. It is recognizable by its eyes, which are dark and large.

Are Biscuit beetles harmful?

These beetles are not picky eaters and will eat just about anything. Even though this is a beetle with a remarkable likeness to the woodworm or common furniture beetle, wood is not on its diet.

Although annoying little pests, like drugstore beetles, they are not harmful to pets or people.

How do I know if I have a drugstore beetle infestation

If you think you have a drugstore beetle infestation, it is important to know what signs to look for. The first sign is seeing adult beetles resting on or buzzing around various surfaces.

In addition, have you recognized any holes in or around packages? These holes might be an indication you have a drugstore beetle infestation.

Only the professionals at A.N.T. Pest Control know how to recognize the signs of drugstore beetle infestations. We will investigate your property and offer you the proper treatments required to get rid of drugstore beetles.

The broad range of animal products and vegetables these beetles infest gives them a reputation for being omnivorous.

What is the life cycle of the drugstore beetle?

White grub larvae of a drugstore beetle with short hairs.

The lifespan of the adult drugstore beetle ranges from two weeks to just over two months (14 - 65 days). The larvae of the female drugstore beetle begin as a white grub with short hairs. Right over their mouth is a straight line that crosses the head.

When hatching, the larva is forming the shape of a "C," approximately five millimeters long. Following the larval period of 12 to 18 days, immature beetles come into the world as adult drugstore beetles.

How many eggs does a female drugstore beetle lay?

During her life cycle, females lay about 75; she lays these eggs in an infested food source. However, the average amount is between 23-114.

It takes a little over a week for them to hatch (9 days). Temperatures and the amount of humidity highly influence drugstore beetle larvae' development.

How to get rid of drugstore beetles

If you have an infestation of drugstore beetles, you must ensure all food storage areas are secured and pet food containers sealed. Dry dog food is a favorite supplement to this pest's diet. Infested food items and food products that have been infested should be placed in lightly heated structures. Pet foods, and packaged food products, should be put in plastic containers and store foods in storage areas out of reach from pests.

Heating small quantities of infested items might be one way to get rid of drugstore beetle infestations too.  But, if you have any cracks and crevices or wooden objects, this can pose attractive to drugstore beetles and other pests.

Pheromone traps placed in cracks and crevices and around shelves are an excellent way to control them. These types of traps use a sex pheromone to capture the beetles and advert them from reproducing.

When it's time to call a professional

When you have exhausted all preventative measures to eradicate infested areas and the pest problem, it's time to call the professionals! Those professionals have an insect in their name-- A.N.T. Pest control. Give us a call today and watch your pest problem become a thing of the past!

Contact Us

1200 S Cedar Rd #2D/E
New Lenox, IL 60451


Email Us

to top