All About Houston's Little-Known Cigarette Beetle

August 21, 2020


Have you ever seen a beetle in your home but not worried about it because, after all, it’s just a beetle? Well, if it’s a cigarette beetle, there might be cause for worry. These “pantry pests” are known to feed upon a wide variety of dried foods as well as other household items. This means, if they are left unchecked, you could wind up needing to spend money on replacing items that have been contaminated. Not only is this a waste of money, but it is just plain frustrating. It is important to know the steps you can take to ensure the items in your pantry are safe from these pests.

a cigarette beetle crawling on a leaf

What Do Cigarette Beetles Look Like?

Cigarette beetles are “hump-backed” beetles that grow to be about 1/8th of an inch long. Their bodies are cylindrical and light brown in color. They also have relatively long body hair which gives them a fuzzy look.

As their name might suggest, cigarette beetles feed on dried tobacco found in cigarettes and cigars which can be big problems for those in the tobacco industry. However, they also feed on a variety of other dried foods and seasonings which means homeowners need to be wary as well. Cigarette beetles can feed on pepper, paprika, chili, ginger, dates, raisins, cottonseed meal, pasta, seeds, dried fish, and more. They are also known to eat leather, pet foods, and flowers.  

Where You Might Find Cigarette Beetles In Your Home

Given the cigarette beetle’s penchant for food found in the cupboard, they are considered to be pantry pests. Therefore, if you have cigarette beetles infesting your home, you will likely find them in the pantry or in nearby areas.

Ways To Prevent Cigarette Beetles From Infesting Your Home

The best way to keep cigarette beetles from infesting your home and pantry is by removing both of the means by which they may enter your homes, as well as anything that might entice them into your home in the first place. That doesn’t mean throwing out all the food that cigarette beetles feed upon, but rather storing it properly. In order to keep cigarette beetles from infesting your home:

  • Seal all cracks and crevices around windows and doors.
  • Utilize screens in windows and doors.
  • Fix any holes in existing window and door screens.
  • Inspect dry food packages for rips or tears before purchasing.
  • Keep the shelves of your pantry well-cleaned and vacuumed.
  • Store dry food items in plastic containers rather than the cardboard boxes in which they come.
  • Store leather goods and pet foods in sealable containers.

For Further Advice Or Assistance With Cigarette Beetles

If you find yourself dealing with a cigarette beetle infestation, or if you have questions on cigarette beetle habits and prevention, give the experts here at Romney Pest Control a call today. For over ten years, our trained professionals at Romney Pest Control have been using expertise and experience to help Texas residents with pest control around their homes and businesses. Not only will we help you eliminate any current infestations, but we will also work with you to take the necessary steps to prevent future infestations. Don’t let cigarette beetles wreak havoc on the contents of your pantry. Give us a call today.




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