Meet the Beetles
Like the drugstore beetle, the cigarette beetle is another common stored product pest. In our region they are more common in the fall and winter months. As their name implies, the cigarette beetle is a pest of dried tobacco. These pests also feed on book bindings and stored products found in homes. An adult cigarette beetle is yellowish to reddish-brown in color and is about 1/10 inch long. Oval in shape, this pest appears hunchbacked because its head is bent downward. A female cigarette beetle can lay up to 100 eggs on the food products from which the larvae will feed. A bit smaller than the adult beetle, larvae are creamy white in color and have a worm-like shape. The development time from egg to adult is six to eight weeks and adults live two to four weeks. The larvae feed on a variety of pet foods, including dried and processed foods such as grain, pasta, raisins, rice, seeds and even cockroach poison. Cigarette beetles will sometimes feed on furniture stuffing and dried floral arrangements as well. They prefer temperatures over 65 degrees Fahrenheit and low-lit areas. Cigarette beetles appear similar to drugstore beetles with two exceptions:
The cigarette beetle has serrated antennae. The drugstore beetle’s antennae are smooth and end in a 3-segmented club.
The wing covers of the cigarette beetle are smooth. The drugstore beetle’s wings have a lined, striated appearance.
Cigarette beetles are active all year long in Washington D.C., and throughout Maryland and Virginia. They will infest storage areas that contain dried tobacco. They will also invade homes to feed on cereal, flour and other stored products that are a staple of most pantries.
Cigarette beetles are not considered harmful to humans or pets. Their habit of infesting people and pet food make them a nuisance pest.
Because of their ability to infest a variety of food products, cigarette beetles are difficult to control. Contact American Pest to take control of the situation.
Controlling pantry pests can be a tedious task because the source of the infestation may be difficult to find. You must carefully examine food products, including dried pet food. Look for signs of infestation. You should also store these items in tightly sealed containers. Discard infested food or floral arrangements. Freezing susceptible food items can prevent infestation. It will also kill cigarette beetles that have infested food products. An American Pest professional will also look for infestations in other areas of the house and treat if necessary.
At American Pest, we pride ourselves on our speed and delivery of service. For that reason, we will make every effort to be with you the same or very next day.
Your health and safety is our number one priority. That’s why we only use products that have been registered by the EPA for pest control use. American Pest voluntarily supports the EPA’s Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) and is recognized as a champion within our industry.
Careful sanitation is helpful in avoiding pantry pests. Inspect food items at the store to prevent bringing cigarette beetles home with you.
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