Drugstore beetles, Stegobium paniceum (L.), are often found infesting bread, flour, meal, breakfast foods, and spices. While, their scientific name, paniceum, stems from the Latin word meaning ‘bread’, some suggest that they were coined ‘drugstore beetle’ from a preference to infest medicinal herbs used in early times. Drugstore beetles will attack almost any household food or spice, as well as leather, fur and books. Given the wide range in feeding, they can be a problem beyond a home pantry. They are attracted to light.
Drugstore beetles are small, brown and oval, averaging 2-3.5 mmm in length. When looking down on them, their head is not visible, which gives them a hump-shaped appearance. They have functional wings and do fly. Parallel rows on minute punctures are found on their wing covers.
Female drugstore beetles lay their eggs on food, which will be consumed by the larvae that hatch. Drug store beetle larvae will eat and grow for many months before spinning a cocoon in the infested food. After 2-3 weeks, an adult drugstore beetle will emerge. In warm climates, drugstore beetles can have up to 4 generations in a single year.
An infestation is likely if you discover drugstore beetles flying around or resting on your surfaces in your pantry or kitchen, or if you uncover holes in your store product packaging.
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