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Taxonomy terms

Cigarette Beetle (Lasioderma serricorne)

Cigarette beetle or tobacco beetle

The cigarette beetle is sometimes called the tobacco or cigar beetle

Found across Australia and worldwide

Larvae:

Larvae are a white “curl grub” up to 4.0 mm long. They can move quite rapidly.

Adults:

Adults are a brown, oval beetle, 2.0-3.5 mm long, with a serrated antennae.

Can be confused with the drugstore beetle, but the antennae on the drugstore beetle has a distinctive 3-clubbed appearance. Also, the elytra (wing covers) of the cigarette beetle have a smooth appearance whereas the drugstore beetle has a lined appearance with rows of pits running the length of the wing covers.

Female beetles can lay up to 100 eggs in her lifetime.

The life-cycle is completed from 6 weeks to 3 months dependent on temperature and food availability. The larvae moult between 4-6 times during a 5-10 week developmental period and build their cocoon from the food substrate.

Adults beetles live between 1-4 weeks.  

Cigarette beetles will eat a wide range of dry packaged plant based foods, as well as on tobacco which gave rise to its name. They perhaps have the widest diet of the common stored product pests, also including animal based products and rodent baits. They are a very common pantry pest.

Both the adult and larvae feed and cause damage.

They will also attack fibre board, which is perhaps not surprising as they belong to the same family as the common furniture powerpost beetles

  • Adults will often chew out of containers (paper, cardboard and plastic), leaving small circular holes (like their relative the powder post beetle.
  • Cigarette beetles have a symbiotic relationship with yeasts that produce vitamin B. The vitamin B is deposited on eggs before laying and ingested by the hatching larvae when they eat the egg material. This allows the larvae to feed and survive of low nutritional food items.
  • Check all incoming food materials
  • Place all opened food stuffs in sealed plastic containers
  • Clear up any food spills

Monitoring and treatment notes:

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