Adult cigarette beetles only live for a few weeks and do not eat. They can, however, fly. And cigarette beetle larvae are surprisingly destructive.
Cigarette beetles (Lasioderma serricorne) favor tobacco plants. But they will also go after cereal grains, dried fruit, and these popular garden plants:
Cigarette beetles will also feed on spices, including paprika, cumin, and sage. You may also find them in your flour, pet food, and even your favorite books!
Cigarette beetle description
These tiny brown beetles look almost identical to furniture and drugstore beetles, with a more humpbacked profile. If you use a hand lens, you can see that cigarette beetles have distinctive clubs at the ends 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!
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