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Cigarette Beetle

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Actual Size: 2 – 3 mm

Characteristics: Small, rounded-oval shape, squat beetle; shiny reddish-brown in color.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, and adults are strong fliers.

Habitat: Known to infest storage areas or warehouses that contain dried tobacco. Will invade homes to feed on cereal, flour, and other stored products that are a staple of most pantries.


  • Sometimes confused with the drugstore beetle.
  • A major pest of tobacco and stored food products.
  • Eggs are laid directly on food to ensure larvae will have a meal once they hatch.

Cigarette Beetles in Salina

The cigarette beetle is found throughout Salina and the rest of the United States. It is a significant pest of tobacco plants. Eggs are laid in the folds of newly harvested, baled, or bundled tobacco leaves in storage, but never on live plants in the field. In our region, about three generations can occur per year.

Cigarette Beetle Habitat

Cigarette beetles get their name from their fondness for tobacco. However, they can also be found in food storage areas and are known to chew through books, manuscripts, furniture fabrics, and other organic materials. In the southern parts of the country, cigarette beetles may fly to homes from nearby warehouses and cause secondary reinfestations. They also enter homes to feed on grains, flour, and stored pantry staple products.

Cigarette Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Cigarette beetles are not considered harmful to humans. However, their habit of infesting human food and pet food makes them a nuisance pest. They are the most destructive pests of stored tobacco. They are also very serious book pests, damaging the binding and pages. Adult cigarette beetles are also strong fliers. If you suspect a cigarette beetle infestation in your home,  check spices, pet food, and old rodent bait. Contact your local beetle exterminators if you have any questions.

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