Cigarette beetles are shiny and reddish-brown in color. They have a rounded, oval shape and the head is often concealed by the pronotum when the beetle is viewed from above. This beetle looks very similar to a drugstore beetle, but can be distinguished by its smooth wing covers that lack the puncture marks found on a drugstore beetle and its serrated antenna.
Cigarette beetles are quite small, measuring only about 1/10-inch in length.
Cigarette beetles are associated with processed foods of all kinds. The length of the cigarette beetle life cycle is highly dependent on temperature and the food source, but usually takes 40 to 90 days. Females lay 30 to 40 eggs over a period of weeks in a stored tobacco or dried food product.
Cigarette beetles are external feeders (the larvae develop outside of whole seeds). They prefer to reside in dark cracks and crevices and are most active at night. They are also strong fliers.
Cigarette beetles are often found infesting dried tobacco in warehouses and processing facilities, but are not commonly found in actual cigarettes or cigars. They will infest common food products such as cereals, pet foods, nuts, raisins, and seeds.
Cigarette beetles are the most damaging pest to stored tobacco, but they are also a major pest of many stored food products. These products are contaminated by the presence of beetles, larvae, pupae, cocoons, and insect parts. Cigarette beetle larvae have also been found to feed on the stuffing inside upholstered furniture.
Do you live in South Florida and think that this pest may be invading your home? Hulett Environmental Services offers specialty pest control treatments designed to control and eliminate this pest!