Cigarette beetle

Lasioderma serricorne

The adult cigarette beetle is a small, stout, oval, reddish-yellow or brownish-red beetle about 0.1 inch (2-3 mm) long. The head is bent down at nearly a right angle to the body, giving the beetle a humped appearance when viewed from the side. Unlike those of the drugstore beetle, the wing covers are not striated, and the antennae are the same thickness from base to tip. Cigarette beetle larvae are yellowish-white and grub-shaped, with three sets of forelegs and a brown head capsule. Cigarette beetle larvae are hairier than those of the drugstore beetle. The larvae are about 0.1 inch long when fully grown.

Damage: This is the most important insect pest of stored tobacco. Package and chewing tobaccos, cigars, and cigarettes that have been attacked by cigarette beetles have holes eaten through the tobacco. Cigarette beetle adults and larvae also are omnivorous pests of other stored products. They can be found in stored grains, where they feed on debris or dead insects and damage the grain. Their main impact in households is on stored commodities, such as spices, rice, ginger, raisins, pepper, drugs, seeds, and dried flower arrangements. They even feed on pyrethrum powder strong enough to kill cockroaches.