What are cigarette 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.