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 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 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.
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 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.
Use pyrethroid insecticide to kill the pests.
A pyrethroid insecticide 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.
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 peppermint oil 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.
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.
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!
Drugstore beetles have been destroying food and other household items for many years. Our readers have often shared pictures and other details abut the escapades of these bugs.
Read on to learn more about the ways in which this pest can be a big nuisance.
Letter 1 – Infestation of Drugstore Beetles
Sudden Infestation Location: Northeast U.S. September 1, 2010 12:07 am Hello, I live in western New York. I found a bunch of bugs in my kitchen yesterday on the countertops at lunch time. I quickly wiped them of and discarded of them outside. At that point there were roughly 15 of them. I came home from work last night and suddenly there were probably one hundred of them. So I got out the bleach and scrubbed down the whole kitchen. I knew this was probably only a temporary fix. They have come back today. I have two dogs and at first I thought ”Oh my goodness they have fleas”, but upon checking them out the are a little bigger than what a flea would be. They also are very easy to catch and discard. They are brown in color. They do appear to have wings and the ability to fly but for the most part they don’t move very much. I was trying to find the source of the bugs and though there were some on the kitchen floor, the first place I noticed them were on the kitchen counter. So I thought maybee they were falling from the ceiling. Low and behold when I looked up they appeared to be coming from the light on the ceiling. I tried to find them in other rooms before but they seemed to only be in the kitchen. Well the lights in the kitchen are always on so I checked other lights. I noticed that they seem to be collecting at any light. I recentley had my roof redone. There were old ceder shake shingles on the house before. I wonder if they could be some kind of termited that were upset when the roof was tore off and moved from the attic down my walls or if they are just some kind of gnat. Please Help me I will attach a couple of pictures. Scott Hi Scott, Your photos are lacking in detail, but based on your description and the image with the penny as scale, we believe you have an infestation of Drugstore Beetles. Drugstore Beetles, Stegobium paniceum, are cosmopolitan in distribution and may be found year round thanks to our climate controlled environment in the home. According to BugGuide: “larvae feed on prescription drugs, flours, dry mixes, breads, cookies, spices, chocolates and other sweets, plus a variety of ‘non-food’ items.” BugGuide explains “Larval non-food material includes wool, hair, leather, horn, and museum specimens. Larvae have been known to bore into books, wooden objects, and, in some cases, tin or aluminum foil and lead sheet.” Drugstore Beetles are not the only small beetles that will infest stored food products in the kitchen. Another possible culprit is the Cigarette Beetle, Lasioderma serricorne, but you probably do not care exactly what food infesting beetle is living in your kitchen. You need to search the pantry thoroughly to find the source of the infestation. Your letter mentioned dogs and if you buy large quantities of dog food, the infestation might have begun in the bargain bag of pet food, or it might have begun in the long forgotten cake mix that expired in 2002 on the top shelf of the cupboard in the back behind the canned goods. If the infestation is really bad, the beetles might have spread to other items already, so you might want to clear out all stored food products and that should take care of the problem unless the beetles have been proliferating in the stuffed stag’s head over the fireplace or some exotic artifact made of leather or other animal products that a world traveler presented you after returning from Africa or South America. In England, Drugstore Beetles are known as Biscuit Beetles and adults do not feed. The Ohio State University Extension Program has a good fact sheet on both Drugstore Beetles and Cigarette Beetles.