Do Drugstore Beetles Fly? Truth Revealed!

Did you know that some pantry pests can even fly around? Terrifying to think of flying bugs in your kitchen! But do drugstore beetles fly too, and should you be worried about them entering your pill box? Let us find out.

Usually, people avoid checking books and medicines to detect an infestation of pests. But pests rarely attack medicines and books, right?

Wrong. The drugstore beetle is a notorious pest that can destroy stored pharmaceuticals, drugs, and books within a very short period of time.

Effective measures must be taken to control these pests, or else they will cause heavy damage to your household items and food.

This article will discuss if these insects can fly and how to stop them from infesting your house.

What is a Drugstore Beetle?

Drugstore beetles are tiny insects that might have originated in South Africa. However, now they are found in different corners of the world.

They are also commonly found in the UK and are commonly called biscuit beetle, flour beetle or bread beetle.

These insects are called drugstore beetles because of their specific habit of infesting stored medicines that are usually stored in pharmacies.

Drugstore beetles are highly problematic for stored food products like cookies, dry mixes, pet food, cereals, coffee, rice, nuts, and other grains.

Apart from food items, they also infest wool, cardboard, leather, hair, furniture stuffing, prescribed drugs, and more.

One interesting fact about the drugstore beetle is that it highly relies on temperature and the availability of food to grow. This is why they prefer to lay eggs in warm regions with abundant food nearby.

How To Identify Them?

Drugstore beetles have reddish-brown bodies and can grow up to 1/7 in length. They look very similar to cigarette beetles, but if you look closely, you will notice several physical differences between the two.

Both types have a layer of fine hair growing on their wing covers, but in the drugstore beetle, you will notice tiny pits on the wing covers, which are absent in the cigarette beetles.

Do Drugstore Beetles Fly
Drugstore Beetle

Also, the cigarette beetles have a saw-tooth pattern in their antennae, while the adult drugstore beetle has simple three-sectioned antennae.

The drugstore beetle is like a white grub in its larval stage. These drugstore beetle larva, have hair on their bodies.

Can They Fly?

Drugstore beetles have wings and are capable of flying.

These insects are more active during the night time and are highly attracted to light sources. When they spot a light source in the dark, they tend to fly toward it.

Where Do They Come Inside Homes From?

Since these beetles infest a variety of stored items, they can enter your homes through the food that you buy in the market.

Since these insects have wings, they can also quickly fly into your homes through windows, gaps, and other cracks.

Being attracted to light sources, there is a high chance they will try to creep into your house due to the presence of light in it.

They are also present in old books and libraries; therefore, whenever you borrow an old book from the library, check it thoroughly before bringing it home.

Can They Bite?

Drugstore beetles do not bite humans. But they will happily bite down on different food sources available in your house.

Also, they will cause damage to leather, wool, paper, cardboard, and more.

Do Drugstore Beetles Bite

Do They Transmit Any Diseases?

Drugstore beetles are not carriers of any diseases. But they can contaminate and make food unusable by leaving eggs and fecal matter in them.

Also, the sight of these tiny beetle flying around your house can be gross and unbearable. This is why in the next section, we will look at a few tips and tricks for getting rid of these insects.

Preventing a Drugstore Beetle Invasion

  1. Ensure food storage in an airtight plastic container to stop these insects from attacking it.
  2. Keep a close eye on the food packages that you bring home. Try to bring food that is protected by a sealed package. If the packing is damaged, do not buy it.
  3. To kill the beetles in the food, heat it at a temperature of 140°F for two hours to get the best results. You can also freeze the food at 20°F for around 48 hours.
  4. Since the female drugstore beetle prefers a warm environment to lay eggs, you must store food in cool areas where these beetles won’t breed. Do not keep the food near any heaters; this will act like an open invitation for these beetles.
Cigarette Beetle Vs. Drugstore Beetle

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have drugstore beetles in my bedroom?

Drugstore beetles like to be around food sources. Therefore they can enter your bedroom via food that enters the area.
Also, since they are highly attracted to light sources, they might have crept inside the room in search of light.
To avoid such things from happening, do not bring food into your bedroom and keep it there for long.

How do you get rid of drugstore beetles?

You can get rid of drugstore beetles by storing all your food in cool places, as these beetles usually prefer to live around warm sites.
Also, storing your food in an airtight container will help to keep this pest away. Since they can fly, make sure that you seal the gaps and cracks in the house, as they can serve as entry points.

Are drugstore beetles harmful?

Drugstore beetles do not bite humans. Also, they don’t carry any harmful diseases.
The only problem is that they contaminate the food sources by leaving fecal matter and eggs in them. They can also attack other things like leather, cardboard, paper, wool, and more.

Do cigarette beetles fly?

Yes, cigarette beetles have a pair of wings and can fly. These insects are strong fliers and can cover a distance of almost 2 miles with their wings.
You can spot them flying around on dull cloudy afternoons. Since they are good fliers, they can easily enter homes using windows.
Therefore you need to be careful with the windows and other gaps in the house.

Wrap Up

Since drugstore beetles can fly, they can easily enter homes through windows, cracks, and gaps.

Once they enter your home, they can quickly find a warm spot and will start laying eggs.

This will later lead to a drugstore beetle infestation in your house.

If you don’t want to face such situations, use the points mentioned in the article to prevent them from entering your home.

Thank you for reading the article!


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. 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.

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  • 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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