Adult cigarette beetles only live for 2 to 6 weeks and they do not eat. They can fly, however. And cigarette beetle larvae are surprisingly destructive.
Cigarette beetles (Lasioderma serricorne) favor tobacco, but they can also damage your cereal grains, and oilseeds, such as olive, peanut, soybean, and sunflower. Cigarette beetles will also feed on dried fruit, herbs and spices, such as paprika, cumin, and sage, flour, pet food, and your favorite books, given the chance.
Cigarette beetle description
These tiny brown beetles look almost identical to drugstore beetles and furniture beetles, with a more humpbacked profile. If you look very closely, using a hand lens, you can see that cigarette beetles have a distinctive club at the end of their antennae.
Cigarette beetles are tiny. Eight of them could stand, end-to-end, across a dime. But don’t let their diminutive size fool you.
Cigarette beetle lifecycle
Adult female cigarette beetles lay 30 to 100 eggs in and around preferred foods. As soon as the larvae hatch, they start feeding and moving around. After feeding and pooping, larvae enter a pupal stage in cocoons made from the foods they infested, making them difficult to see.
While insecticides are effective against cigarette beetles, you are better off tossing out infested materials. Vacuuming and pheromone traps can also help control these tiny pests.
You can grow a surprising amount of food in your own yard. Ask me how!