the drugstore beetle the tobacco beetle is also related to the furniture
beetle. Adult cigarette beetles are yellowish- to reddish-brown, oval-shaped,
and about 1/10-inch long. The head is bent downward sharply, nearly at
right angles to the body, giving a humpbacked appearance when viewed from
the side. The wing covers (elytra) are smooth, and the antennal segments
are uniform and saw-like (serrate). Looking at the pictures below will
Biscuit Beetle Cigarette Beetle
illustrate how sharply the head is bent down
cigarette beetles lay about 30 eggs in a period of 3 weeks. Eggs hatch
in 6 to 10 days. The larval stage lasts from 5 to 10 weeks with larvae
shunning light. The pupal and prepupal periods last 2 to 3 weeks and are
passed in a cell. The life cycle lasts from 70 to 90 days, and there may
be 5 to 6 overlapping generations per year in warm localities with only
one generation in the more temperate regions. Adults are strong flyers
and active in subdued light at temperatures above 65°F. Adult beetles
may live from 23 to 28 days. In temperate climates, beetles begin swarming
in May and again in August. Overwintering may be passed in the larval
stage, with some adults not too resistant to cold hibernating in crevices.
In warehouses, the life cycle may be completed in 52 days.
beetles commonly infest dried tobacco and tobacco products - hence their
name. They also infest raisins, figs, dates, ginger, pepper, nutmeg, chili
powder, curry powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, yeast, drugs, legume seeds,
barley, cornmeal, flour, soybean meal, sunflower meal, wheat, wheat bran,
rice meal, beans, cereals, fish meal, peanuts, dry yeast, dried flowers,
leather, woolen cloth, and bamboo. They also may damage the leaves and
bindings of books when feeding on the paste, or overstuffed furniture
when infesting the straw, hair, etc.
like the tobacco beetle got there first..!
Referral back to the biscuit beetle page will enable
a comparison between the three types of beetle.
of this pantry pest begins with the location of the infested food. A thorough
clean up, using a vacuum cleaner to get into the cracks and crevices,
will control this pest. Also be aware that if there are any bread items
which have been varnished and used for display purposes in the kitchen,
that these will be an ideal harbourage area.
in an industrial situation, things should not have got to the point
where there is a problem, vigilance at all times, and scrupulous housekeeping
is the only way to maintain a pest free environment.
to main Stored Product Insect page