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Drugstore Beetles

(Stegobium paniceum)

Appearance

The Drugstore beetle is brown to reddish-brown in color. It is cylindrical in shape and has longitudinal rows of fine hairs on its wing covers. Its head is not visible from above. The Drugstore beetle is similar in appearance to the cigarette beetle but has different antennae.

Size

Range from 1/10 to 1/8-inch in length.

Behavior

Females lay up to 75 eggs in the food or substrate. The larval period ranges from 4 to 20 weeks. Larvae tunnel through the substrate and when fully grown build a cocoon and pupate. The larvae are external feeders and are capable of damaging whole grains or seeds. Adults emerge in approximately 12 to 18 days and are able to actively crawl and fly.

Habitat

The Drugstore beetle attacks such a wide variety of foods and material that one anonymous quote states it will "eat anything but cast iron." It gets its name from its habit of feeding on prescription drugs. The Drugstore beetle also feeds on flours, dry mixes, breads, cookies, chocolates, and spices.

Interesting Facts

The Drugstore beetle damages foods as well as non-food materials. Non-food materials include wool, leather, and museum specimens. It is also found in pigeon nests and is known to bore into books, wooden objects, and in some cases tin or aluminum foil and lead sheets. Larval feeding accounts for the greatest amount of damage.

Control

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!

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