Drugstore Beetle Facts
Like flour beetles, drugstore beetles are often found in places where food is stored and will contaminate these areas when they become infested. They are often found in grains, packaged foods, and other plant and animal products. They are found all over the world (they are known as the biscuit beetle in the United Kingdom), but are most prevalent in warmer regions with temperate climates. They are not found as often in tropical locations like the cigarette beetle. These beetles are named after their tendency to attack the medicinal herbs used in apothecaries and early drugstores.
Drugstore Beetle Bites
Drugstore beetles do not bite, but they will chow down on your bread, flour, cereal, spices and pet food. The pest is the last thing you want to share your food with.
Drugstore Beetle Infestation
Larvae of the drugstore beetle start out as small, white grubs with short hairs and a straight line across their heads just above their mouths.
Females will lay up to 75 eggs wherever they decide to drop them, which is most likely in a food source like grain. They will remain in this stage for around 20 weeks. During this period, they will tunnel through the substance they were born in and feed. They will then pupate for 12 to 18 days, emerging into adults that will live anywhere from 13 to 65 days. Their lifespan depends on the temperature and available food. Ideal conditions for the drugstore beetle are temperatures around 85 degrees and high humidity.
This pest will eat almost anything, and actually has a drug problem. The drugstore beetle gets its name from its love of feeding on prescription drugs. When it’s not over the counter, it’s browsing the aisles looking for flour, dry mixes, bread, cookies, and other sweet foods. It also enjoys feasting on non-food products such as wool, hair, leather, and even metals.
Drugstore beetles produce yeasts that produce B vitamins that are deposited as they feed, and are later consumed by larvae. This allows the drugstore beetle to thrive and reproduce easily, and also survive on food sources that lack nutrition.
Types of Drugstore Beetles
Drugstore Beetle Identification
These beetles are shaped like cylinders and range from 2.25 to 3.5 millimeters in length with brown or reddish-brown bodies. Their wings are covered in rows of hair, similarly to the cigarette beetle. While the two can be easily confused, the drugstore beetle can be identified by its smooth antennae and the appearance of lines on its wings. The cigarette beetle has serrated antennae and smooth wings.
Drugstore Beetles In The House & The Garden
Drugstore beetles are major pests of bakeries, flour mills and other food storage facilities. Since these pests lay their eggs in packaged food items, you may accidentally purchase an infested product and bring the problem home with you. There is an array of food drugstore beetles like to eat including dried food products like flour, spices, cereal and pet food, medicine, leather, books and hair. A drugstore beetle infestation can contaminate food.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bread Beetles
How do I get rid of drugstore beetles in the home?
In the home, you must first identify where the beetles are gathering. Anything that is infested should be wrapped in plastic and promptly discarded. Always check your food containers for signs of contamination. Place them in the freezer or in heat them up to kill any lingering beetles.
Always make sure to clean up areas where food is handled. Any spills, crumbs, or leftovers should be removed so as not to attract any pests. If it is possible, store your food in airtight containers to keep the drugstore beetle out of your supplies.
You shouldn’t use any chemicals around food, but if you decide to, make sure to carefully follow the instructions. If your problem persists, calling pest control professionals may be the solution, as they will have a wider range of options to help rid your home of the drugstore beetle or other insects.
Benefits of Professional Drugstore Beetle Pest Control
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address a drugstore beetle problem. Finding and treating the drugstore beetles can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the drugstore beetle infestation.