Drugstore Beetle

24 January, 2010

Drugstore Beetles.
Drugstore Beetles.
Image: Simon Hinkley
Source: Museum Victoria.

Question: Do I have drugs in my home?

Answer: This beetle can and will eat almost anything.

The beetle commonly known as the Drugstore Beetle or Biscuit Beetle has the scientific name Stegobium paniceum. It is a species of beetle which is not native to Australia but is now found across the country and right around the world.

The beetles do not bite people or their pets but are what is known as a ‘stored product pest’ of many types of dry stored food products. The damage is caused predominantly by the larvae and not the adults which feed little or not at all. The adults are short lived but can run and fly well.

These beetles are a common pest in our homes where the larvae feed on and cause damage to food products. If these beetles are present you need to find the source of the infestation and dispose of it and make sure you don’t leave any food around which may be reinfested. Make sure you check all rooms of the house and not just the room in which you are finding them.

These beetles are incredibly tough and can survive eating grain based rat baits, leather and museum specimens amongst other things so check all possible sources of infestation such as bird seed, dried flower arrangements and wheat bags/cushions. Also ensure that there are no gaps at the back of shelves where spilled food may have accumulated.

When conditions are conducive this beetle can complete its lifecycle in as little as two months and is known as the Drugstore Beetle as a result of its feeding on prescription drugs and can consume laxative teas and even strychnine.

Comments (2)

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Marie 3 March, 2012 00:03
How do I get rid of them please? We've had to throw out so much food from our pantry and cupboards. How do they get into sealed packs?
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Discovery Centre 6 March, 2012 09:42
Hi Marie, to eliminate these beetles you need to find and destroy the source of the infestation and make sure you don’t leave any food around which may be reinfested. Make sure you check all possible sources of infestation such as dog biscuits, bird seed, dried flower arrangements, wheat bags/cushions and grain based rat baits. This link is from an American University and will provide you with some information.
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