Drugstore Beetle

What do drugstore beetles look like?

  • Light brown to reddish-brown.
  • Adults and larvae are approximately 1/16 to 1/8 inch long.
  • Drugstore beetles have a humpbacked appearance and the head is not visible.
  • “Pits” on their wing covers are arranged in long rows.
  • Their antennae terminate in a distinct club composed of three elongated segments.
  • Larvae are C-shaped, relatively hairless, and do not have a fuzzy appearance.

What are the habits of drugstore beetles?

  • Drugstore beetle females lay their eggs in a single fashion and near the food they are infesting.
  • Developmental time between egg-adult is about seven months.
  • In houses, it is generally accepted that drugstore beetles have one generation/year.
  • They easily penetrate packaging materials such as light plastic covered food-stuffs.
  • Adults can fly and are readily attracted to light.

What kind of damage is caused by drugstore beetles?

  • Drugstore beetles feed upon all types of foods, spices, grains, leather, wool, hair, books, drugs, and museum items.
  • As a function of feeding on dried food stuffs and belongings, they cause economic damage by way of infestation and contaminating these items.  
  • Contaminated items should be discarded. 

What should I look for?   

  • Evidence of infestation in stored products and storage areas as noted by the physical presence of foraging beetles.  

How do you control and eliminate drugstore beetles?

  • Moderate to heavily infested materials should be discarded.
  • An alternative to disposal is heat treatment (140 to 176 F for several hours) which kills all life stages of the drugstore beetle—although this method is generally cost-prohibitive.
  • Pheromone traps may be used to identify areas of significant activity.
  • Books, manuscripts, furniture, and other infested materials that are not easily replaced might require fumigation by a professional in order to control drugstore beetles.
  • Pesticide applications are supplementary to the identification and subsequent elimination of infested material and should never be used as the sole means of control.

If you are asking yourself, “Why is it so difficult to get rid of drugstore beetles?” contact Innotech Pest Management where we can spring into action and assist you with the challenging tasks of identification of infested materials and elimination strategies.