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Biscuit beetle, bread beetle and Drug store beetle


Key features

Adult beetle length is 2 to 3 mm. They are reddish-brown, oval beetles, with a dense covering of yellowish hairs.

The head is hidden under the hood-like prothorax.


Easily mistaken for the common furniture beetle, or the cigarette beetle.


The larvae are active initially but become fat, sluggish and eventually incapable of movement.

A fully grown larva is about 5 mm long.




Biology

Eggs are laid singly in the foodstuff. Each female produces about 100 eggs.

First stage larvae are active and readily crawl through small openings, thereby contaminating packaged foodstuffs. Once a food source has been located, the larva becomes less mobile with each moult. After 4 larval moults, the larva constructs a small round cell from food particles and saliva, in which to pupate.


Adults bite their way out of the cocoon and wander in search of a mate, often considerable distance from the larval site.

In common with other insects, development times are influenced by temperature, relative humidity, moisture content, quantity and quality of food. The following figures are therefore only a guide.


Number of days spent as:

Egg..................................8-37

Larva...............................5-150

Pupa................................9-18

Adult..............................In cocoon 7-12 (Non-feeding 42-56)


The complete life cycle takes between 12 and 33 weeks.


The optimum temperature range is 25-28ºc; development ceases below 17ºc.


Distribution

Cosmopolitan.


Significance

These beetles will attack a wide range of stored products including dried vegetables, spices, chocolate, cereals, drugs and even dried flowers.


They are commonly found in association with birds nests.


The adult beetle does not feed but will fly from the original source of infestation and will lay its eggs in other commodities.


They are related to the common furniture beetle and, as one might expect, are capable of chewing into fairly hard materials. An infestation might therefore spread into the fabric of a building, behind polystyrene tiles etc.



Control

Please Call East Lancashire Pest Control on 0800 023 6116 for a free visit and quote.