Category: Pantry Pests
The Drugstore Beetle got its common name because of its being a serious pest of stored herbs used as medicine in early apothecaries or drug stores. Its distribution is worldwide.
Adult Drugstore Beetles are about 1/16” to 1/8” long, oval, and light brown to reddish brown in color, with fine hairs arranged in lines down the back of their shell. Mature larvae are about 1/16” to 1/8” long, white in color with many short hairs, and distinctly curved to form a C-shape. Drugstore Beetle adults and larvae are nearly identical to the Cigarette Beetles.
The female Drugstore Beetle lays her oval, whitish eggs in and about the food materials. They hatch in a few days. The complete life cycle (egg to egg) usually requires 7 months, but there may be 1-4 generations per year depending on the temperature.
Drugstore Beetles attack a variety of household foods and spices. Most commonly attacked are grain products, bread, flour, breakfast foods, and herbs such as red pepper and paprika. The Drugstore Beetle can also be a pest of books and manuscripts with organic glues and bindings.
Adult Drugstore Beetles can fly and are attracted to light, commonly found around windows and indoor light fixtures.
Achieving control of Drugstore Beetles, as with any type of Stored Product Pest, requires a multi-step process. Because Stored Product Pests are so invasive, every step is very important.
1.) Food Source Removal: This consists of disposal of all infested foods or products, as well as any opened containers of grains, flour, dried foods and/or dry pet foods. This is typically the single most expensive step of the control process, but also one of the most important.
2.) Good Sanitation: Thoroughly vacuuming out all food and pantry cabinets is vital in the control of Drugstore Beetles. Removing all containers from cabinets and carefully cleaning the corners, cracks and crevices in food cabinets and pantries is the best way to ensure proper treatment of infested areas by your pest control technician. Make sure to dispose of the used vacuum bag immediately after cleaning infested areas to prevent spreading the infestation.
3.) Treatment: Appropriate treatment by a trained and licensed pest control operator is almost always necessary to eliminate the remaining eggs and larvae of the Drugstore Beetles.
4.) Prevention: To help prevent future infestation, it is important to carefully inspect any incoming food sources for signs of Drugstore Beetles, or other Stored Product Pests. Any flour, grains, seeds or dried foods that are opened or in paper/cardboard containers should be kept in airtight glass or Tupperware containers. Any foods that are still in unopened plastic bags or sealed plastic containers are fine until opened.
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