Cigarette beetles, Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius) earned their name from attacking stored tobacco. They are a world-wide stored product pest, and will also infest flour, cereal, dried spices, pasta, pet food, leather, silk, books, and dried flowers. In the home, cigarette beetles are most commonly found in dried dog food and dried spices like paprika.
Adult cigarette beetles are winged, light brown, typically 2-3 mm in length. Their head is bent downward which gives this pantry pest a hump-shaped appearance when it is looked down upon.
Image source: CSIRO
They are excellent fliers and attracted to light. When disturbed, they momentarily ‘play dead’.
The life cycle from egg to mature adult ranges from 30 to 90 days as it is depended on temperature. In colder temperatures it takes longer. Female cigarette beetles deposit their eggs on or in food or household items. The larvae that hatch will eat what they have infested, including packaging, and will grow until they are ready to spin their cocoon and transform into an adult. Adults that have infested packaged store products will exit these by chewing their way out.
The most obvious sign of a cigarette beetle infestation is finding debris within your pantry products, and holes in its packaging.
Learn more about how to get rid of pantry pests.
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