(Lasioderma serricorne) & (Stegobium
The cigarette beetle (Lasioderma serricorne) and drugstore beetle
(Stegobium paniceum) closely resemble one another,
but the cigarette beetle is more common. Both beetles are about
1/8-inch long, cylindrical, and uniformly light brown. The easiest
way to distinguish the two is by the wing covers: the wing covers
of the drugstore beetle have longitudinal grooves, while those of
the cigarette beetle are smooth.
The cigarette beetle feeds on cured tobacco, cigarettes, and
cigars. It also feeds on dried herbs, spices, nuts, cereals and
cereal products, dried fruit, seeds, and animal products such as
dried fish and meats, hair, and wool. In the home this beetle is
most commonly found in pet foods, cereals, nuts, and candy. It may
also infest dried pepper arrangements, wreaths, and spices such as
chili powder or paprika.
The cigarette beetle lays its eggs in the food substance. The
small, yellowish white grubs are covered with long, silky,
yellowish brown hairs and are about 1/6-inch long when fully
grown. The pupae are within a closed cell composed of small
particles of the food substance cemented together with a secretion
of the larvae. The period from egg to adult is about 6 weeks.
The drugstore beetle is a very general feeder, attacking a great
variety of stored foods, seeds, pet foods, spices, and pastry
mixes, and has been said to "eat anything except cast iron." It
gets its name from its habit of feeding on almost all drugs found
in pharmacies. In the home, however, the most common food
materials infested by this beetle are pet foods, drugs, and
cereals. The drugstore beetle lays eggs in almost any dry, organic
substance. After hatching, the small, white grubs tunnel through
these substances and, when fully grown, pupate in small cocoons.
The entire life cycle may take place in less than 2 months.
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