Get Rid of Drugstore Beetles - Western Fumigation

Facts About Drugstore Beetles

All the information about drugstore beetles you need.

Drugstore beetles, Stegobium paniceum (Coleoptera: Anobiidae), are cylindrical, 1/10 to 1/7 inch long, and are a uniform brown to reddish brown. They have longitudinal rows of fine hairs on the elytra (wing covers). Drugstore beetles are similar in appearance to the cigarette beetle; however, two physical characters can be used to tell the difference between them. The antennae of the cigarette beetle are serrated (like a series of teeth on a saw) while the antennae of the drugstore beetle end in a 3-segmented club, with the last 3 segments larger and almost swollen like. The other difference is that the elytra (hard wing coverings that make up the beetle’s “shell”) of the drugstore beetle have rows of pits giving them a striated (lined) appearance while those of the cigarette beetle are smooth with fine hairs. Drugstore beetle larvae are small, white grubs; the later instars are scarab-like (think of grubs). They are similar to cigarette beetle larvae but have shorter hairs. Also, drugstore beetle larvae have markings on its head that ends in a straight line across the front of the “face” of the larvae, just above its mouthparts.

How Did I get drugstore beetles

Drugstore beetles are a major pest for many stored products. They get their name from their habit of feeding on pharmaceutical drugs in pharmacies. Basically, drugstore beetles can feed on “anything but cast iron” including flours, dry mixes, cookies, and other dry foods. But they also can feed on leather, wool, hair, books, and even tin and aluminum. Similar to cigarette beetles, drugstore beetles also harbor symbiotic yeasts that produce B vitamins. The yeasts are deposited on the eggs as they are laid and are consumed by the larvae during egg hatching. These yeasts enable the cigarette beetle to feed and survive on many foods and other items of poor nutritional quality. If you have any of those things in your home or business, then you could be attracting cigarette beetles.

What Problems Do drugstore beetles Cause

Drugstore beetles can reproduce very fast in warm environments such as a warehouse during summer months. This fact, along with its rapacious ability to eat nearly anything, causes it to build up into population sizes that are shockingly large in a short amount of time. All the while, they are damaging products in storage. Their economic impact can be severe if left unchecked for a period of time.

HOW do i get rid of drugstore beetles

Be sure to locate the source or sources of the drugstore beetle infestation. Heavily infested items should be wrapped in heavy plastic, taken outside, and thrown away. All food containers and items should be checked for infestation as well. To prevent reinfestation, clean up spilled flour, mixes, crumbs, etc. and thoroughly vacuum and clean areas where the contaminated items were stored. Store foods in airtight glass, metal, or plastic containers. Clear containers make it easier to check for infestations. Ensure, with your Facilities Management team that the outer envelope of the building is well sealed to exclude entry for natural settings outside. For larger infestations, fumigation will get you back down to zero. And in commercial settings, fumigation should be added to your food safety plan to ensure your products stay free from infestations and to take care of any drugstore beetles that could have come in on deliveries.
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