Drugstore and cigarette beetles
There are a couple of closely related
beetles, called the drugstore beetle
and the cigarette beetle, that infest food
products, spices, tobacco, natural fibers, dry pet
food and so forth and can cause considerable damage
and loss. Both beetles belong in the family
Anobiidae that also includes beetles that damage
wood such as powderpost beetles.
The beetles do
not bite or cause other damage in homes but
can cause extensive loss in food storage areas if
not managed. It is the larval stage that does most
of the damage but the adult beetle is that stage
that is most often found crawling out in the open.
Both beetles are similar in size at
about 1/8" long,
and are light brown to reddish brown in
color (see top photo, right). Beetles are commonly
found crawling slowly on walls and floor near
infestations. Larvae of both beetles are also
similar (see lower photo, right) with a dark amber
head capsule and creme colored body that is often
bent into a "C" shape when feeding.
Like other insects that attack stored
food products and natural fibers the best way to
mange these beetles is (1) to locate
the infestation and dispose of it, and (2)
properly store food
to prevent infestation in the first place.