Drugstore Beetle Infestation: How to Get Rid of Them for Good

If you are looking for tips on how to get rid of drugstore beetles, this article with arm you with lots of answers. Read on to find out more.

Drugstore beetles are home pests who enjoy munching on a wide variety of food, including cereals, cookies, bread, drugs, herbs, wool, fur, and leather. 

After reading that list, it is obvious that all of us would want to keep them away from our houses, which is precisely what this article is about. 

Continue reading to learn how to identify, track and eliminate drugstore beetles.

 

What Do Drugstore Beetles Eat

What are Drugstore Beetles? 

Drugstore beetle, also known as bread or biscuit beetle, was once a nuisance to pharmacies, but today, they invade households to satiate their vast appetite. 

These beetles munch on various food sources, including drugs, herbs, cereals, bread, biscuit, seeds, grains, cookies, chocolates, etc. 

However, their choices are not limited to food items and can extend to things like paper, wool, metal, fur, and much more. 

Despite their name, drugstore beetles are a bigger threat to your pantry these days rather than your pharmacy or pill box. 

If you have a drugstore beetle infestation in your house, you should make sure to get on top of it quickly because these critters can grow quickly in numbers and eat like there’s no tomorrow.

Drugstore Beetle Life Cycle

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Drugstore Beetle Identification 

A typical drugstore beetle resembles a cigarette beetle but has different markings and humpback from the latter. 

It is about 1/7 inch long with a cylindrical body. The reddish-brown insect is tiny in size and has a humped head that hides its mouth when seen from above. 

Adult beetles can fly well and have an attraction to light. The small, grub-like drugstore beetle larva is about ⅛ inch long and quite tiny in appearance. 

You cannot track the larvae with the naked eye! They look like little white maggots if you put them under a microscope. 

Life Cycle and Habits 

Even though drug beetles are found in different corners of the world, they are known to thrive in warmer regions. 

These bread beetles go through 4 main life stages: egg, larvae, pupal, and adult. 

The adult drugstore beetle can both crawl and fly and is mainly found in households’ pantries or kitchen areas.

The females are known to lay 20 to 114 eggs in a single lifetime, and it takes them about nine days to hatch. 

The region’s temperature and humidity also decide the hatching period, as these bugs prefer to come out in a temperate climate. 

Why are drugstore beetles a concern?

They are a concern because they can infest a wide variety of food products, including bread, biscuit, herbs, drugs, cereals, sweets, cookies, vegetables, pet products, and more. 

They can even eat non-food items like paper, wool, fur, museum specimens, etc. 

Where Do Drugstore Beetles Come From?

The female drugstore beetle adults lay eggs on a food source, so when the egg hatches, the drugstore beetle larva starts feeding on it. 

Thus, these are product pests that live inside food and items usually kept in plastic containers. 

This makes them even more dangerous because their eggs and larvae can hide in a perfectly packed food product and come into your kitchen to start an infestation.

Where Does Drugstore Beetle in Bedroom Come From? 

If you find a drugstore beetle in your bedroom, chances are that a light bulb or lamp guided them into your room.

They consider light sources equal to a possible food source and are thus attracted to light. They are also good fliers and can easily venture into your room.  

How to Detect A Drugstore Beetle Infestation?

Since drugstore beetle infestation usually occurs in the pantry and kitchen, start checking the products lying in these areas for a long time. 

You can check seasoning boxes, shelves, cabinets, grains, beans, flour, rice, bird seeds, pet foods, etc. 

The drugstore beetle is a tiny pest. So, you should use a flashlight and a magnifying glass to detect their presence. 

It is even harder to see a beetle in its larval stage, so you must take professional help if you doubt a larvae infestation in your house. Continue reading on how to kill drugstore beetles. 

What Do Drugstore Beetles Eat

How To Kill Drugstore Beetles 

The first step to killing drugstore beetles is identifying and confirming the infestation in your house. Once you are sure of it, try the following steps to get rid of them. 

Clean up your pantry with a vacuum cleaner

Wear good quality personal protective equipment before using the products. Now, toss out all the pantry products. It will save you time from checking every item for infestation. 

Once all the products are removed from storage places, cabinets, and counters, vacuum the whole space. 

As you wipe and clean the pantry, pay extra attention to the neglected corners. You must also look out for cracks or crevices, for it will help you in the next step. 

Use a suitable insecticide aerosol to treat the cracks 

We know drugstore beetles can easily crawl into the cracks and crevices to lay eggs. 

Thus, an appropriate insecticide aerosol like Wondercide Pest Control Spray works as a flushing agent and ensures that pests are removed from every nook and corner. 

It usually takes a single spray in each crack to flush out the beetles and remove any possibility of an infestation. 

Do Drugstore Beetles Bite

Use pyrethroid insecticide to kill the pests.

A pyrethroid insecticide like Ortho Home Defense has a residual effect on these beetles for at least a month. Therefore, a narrow-spectrum pyrethroid product is a good way to go about killing these bugs and getting rid of them for a long time. 

Start with diluting it with water into a pump sprayer, depending on the measurements of your pantry. 

Now, spray the solution on the edges, back, and corners of the shelves and cabinets and wherever necessary. Wait for the pantry to dry up before restocking the products. 

How To Prevent Drugstore Beetles?

The best way to stop a drugstore beetle infestation is to prevent them from entering your house. 

So let’s find some solutions on how to prevent drugstore beetles from finding a way into your home. 

  • Regular inspection and vacuum: Make sure to keep the place clean and clear of infestations of any kind by vacuuming the pantry or kitchen by inspection and vacuuming. 
  • Drugstore Beetle Pheromone Traps: Place a couple of traps in the kitchen or pantry to attract and trap male drugstore beetles. These traps use a sex pheromone to attract the males of various species, including drugstore beetles and moths. 
Drugstore
Drugstore Beetle

How To Get Rid of Drugstore Beetles Naturally?

If you are not a fan of using insecticides to remove the infestation, here’s how to get rid of drugstore beetles naturally. 

Use a homemade vinegar solution to clean the kitchen

Vinegar is a popular non-chemical insecticide that people use, so it begs the question – does vinegar kill drugstore beetles? 

The answer is yes, but you should know the correct recipe. 

Combine 1/4th cup of vinegar, vodka, and hot water each in a spray bottle and add a few drops of essential oils. 

We recommend Wondercide – Preventive Indoor Pest Control Spray to repel bugs quicker than usual. Now, shake the bottle and spray it in every nook, crack, and corner of the kitchen. 

Once done, use a dry towel or kitchen wipe to clean the room and restock the product when the area is dried. 

Freeze your products 

Another way to get rid of these pests naturally is to freeze the infested products in the refrigerator for a night. 

The freezing process will automatically kill any bug, beetle, eggs, or larvae. However, this method should only be used if the infestation is in its initial stage. 

What Do Drugstore Beetles Eat

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Kills Drugstore Beetles?

A good quality insecticide aerosol can quickly kill drugstore beetles. However, if you want to get rid of them naturally, you can use DIY vinegar. 
You can also use pheromone traps to trap drugstore beetles. However, this method does not kill them, it merely traps them, and you have to then throw soapy water on them to finish them off.

Is it hard to get rid of drugstore beetles?

Drugstore beetles are hard to find since they are tiny, so it is hard to spot them. 
However, once the infestation has been identified, you can quickly get rid of them with the help of insecticides, aerosols, and other treatments. 

How do I get rid of beetles permanently?

Use insecticidal sprays of good quality on the infestation area to eliminate beetles permanently. 
Use tight-fitting lids on food boxes to ensure they don’t enter your food and stay outside since it makes the job of clearing infestation easier. 

How do you find the source of drugstore beetles?

Drugstore beetles usually enter homes through food products or are attracted to the light of your home. 
Once inside, they typically hang around the cracks and crevices of the pantry or in the food products. They wait for the opportunity to find crumbs of food and open packets to feed upon.

Wrap Up 

We hope that now you have a good understanding of what kills drugstore beetles from the article above. 

You can use various methods, from pyrethroids to vinegar, but whatever you do, the most important thing is to completely clear your pantry and then repack all your food in airtight containers.

Thank you for reading!

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

    View all posts
  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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10 thoughts on “Drugstore Beetle Infestation: How to Get Rid of Them for Good”

  1. I have a question about the drugstore beetles. Would it be necessary to contact a pest control company to get rid of the problem?

    Reply
  2. Hi, Im a licensed field representative and work accurate pest. What it sounds like you have is a mice or rat problem infestation in your attic space or in-wall ceiling area. Rodents like to live in insulated areas and these will collect foods on these areas such as sunflower seeds, dog food from pets bowl outside, etc which then becomes a food source for the beetles/larvae which then are falling from around the light fixtures from the attic space. These beetles do not live more than 48 hours that’s why you find them dead. The proper way to correct this is to remove the source of food. Maybe hire your local pest control company to give you an estimate to trap rodents of present, seal up the openings, remove soiled insulation and or food sources to prevent this from happening down the road.

    Cheers

    Pierre Castro – Accurate Termite and Pest Solutions

    Reply
  3. Hi, Im a licensed field representative and work accurate pest. What it sounds like you have is a mice or rat problem infestation in your attic space or in-wall ceiling area. Rodents like to live in insulated areas and these will collect foods on these areas such as sunflower seeds, dog food from pets bowl outside, etc which then becomes a food source for the beetles/larvae which then are falling from around the light fixtures from the attic space. These beetles do not live more than 48 hours that’s why you find them dead. The proper way to correct this is to remove the source of food. Maybe hire your local pest control company to give you an estimate to trap rodents of present, seal up the openings, remove soiled insulation and or food sources to prevent this from happening down the road.

    Cheers

    Pierre Castro – Accurate Termite and Pest Solutions

    Reply
  4. I have a drugstore beetle and I will be moving out in 2 days is it a problem am I going to have those ugly bugs in my new house ?

    Reply
    • Inspect everything for the site of the infestation. According to BugGuide: “larvae feed on a very wide variety of materials of vegetable and animal origin (incl. drugs poisonous to humans, spices, tobacco, leather, wood, textiles…), may attack dried plant collections, old books, and paper; adults do not feed.”

      Reply
  5. I thought I’d gotten all of the beetles in my pantry but I didn’t check everything single bottle/bag and now they are all over my room which is right next to the kitchen. I always find one or two on my bed and sometimes they land on me ! WHHYYY -.-

    Reply
  6. We been living with Cigarette beetles for over 4 years. We realized they were in the kitchen in a box of cereal by then, they spread throughout the kitchen. We threw away the box and basically followed the above advise where we cleaned out all the pantry and kitchen shelves and sealed all packages going forward.

    They are now in my bedroom for the past year. We believe they are coming in through the air conditioning vent as we scoured the bedroom and removed many items or sealed many items. we are down to a bare bedroom and they are still showing up 3 to 4 beetles a night. I cant find their nest every night between 6 and 7 pm, they just appear on the popcorn ceiling walking around. I believe they are eating the paper pulpa of the popcorn which is an endless supply of food. We fumigated to no avail. Will tenting work ? Will fogging with Vinegar and Water through the air vent work ? Or should we have the air vents cleaned by a profressional. By process of elimination, we placed a sticky board inside the air vent with no fermone, and already spotted three inside the duct work. Any advise thanks

    Reply

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