Cigarette Beetle 101: What Every San Antonio Property Owner Ought To Know

April 16, 2020


You might not know what a cigarette beetle is, but you’ve probably seen one. In San Antonio, the beetle is a common sight on residential and commercial properties. Learn more about the pest and find out how you can prevent them from taking over.

a cigarette beetle on top of a leaf

What Are Cigarette Beetles?

Cigarette beetles are a type of stored pest that can be found across the globe. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t named for their appearance. Rather, they are named for their tendency to eat and breed on stored tobacco.

The pest is a relatively small insect that measures between two and three millimeters. Typically, it’s light brown and has a rounded appearance. The larvae are white and hairy. When they are ready to become adults, they spin cocoons and start maturing.

How Do Cigarette Beetles Cause Damage?

All stored food pests can cause damage to your property, and cigarette beetles are no exception. The females lay their eggs in or on food products. When they do, they contaminate your food. They leave behind feces and body parts that destroy your stored food.

Even if you have no tobacco in your home or business, you could still experience damage from a cigarette beetle. The beetles don’t limit their infestations to tobacco. In addition to enjoying tobacco, they also favor products like pet food, spices, and flour. There have been some cases of the beetles taking up residence in leather, books, and silk.

Cigarette beetles chew through your food or property. When they do, they deplete your stores and cause physical damage to cardboard and other materials.

How Does An Infestation Begin?

It doesn’t take much for a beetle infestation to occur. First, the pests are attracted to a food source. They can enter a property through a small gap in a doorway, window, or foundation crack. At other times, they come into your property already hidden away in food.

At first, you might only have a few cigarette beetles. But the females reproduce quickly. They can lay between ten and 100 eggs in one sitting. Therefore, things can get out of control at a rapid rate. In a short period, the beetles could destroy hundreds of dollars worth of stored food.

How Can You Prevent Cigarette Beetles?

Before you encounter a cigarette beetle on your property, you should take the steps to prevent them from becoming an unwanted guest. First, you should keep all of your food stored in sealed containers. Use either plastic or glass to ensure that beetles don’t find a source of food. If you store food in cardboard, the pests may chew through it.

You should also keep your shelves and pantry clean from debris. Any crumbs will attract insects. By keeping your food stored away and maintaining a clean environment, you could prevent an infestation.

These beetles tend to be more active when temperatures are over 65 degrees. Unfortunately for San Antonio residents, this means that they are active year-round. It’s unusual for temperatures to drop so low that the beetles don’t pose a threat to your property.

Looking Out For An Infestation

Another way to prevent a problem with cigarette beetles is to be vigilant. If you see any signs of an infestation, call a pest control expert immediately. Signs of an infestation including seeing the beetles themselves or finding holes in your food packaging.

As soon as you suspect a problem, call the professionals at Romney Pest Control. You need an experienced technician to assess the issue and come up with a strategy to remove the pests and keep them from returning. To get started, give us a call today.




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