Cigarette Beetle

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Actual Size: 2 to 3 mm

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

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes, and adults are strong fliers.

Habitat: Infests warehouses and pantries with dried goods but are particularly attracted to tobacco.


  • 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 San Angelo

The cigarette beetle is a widespread pest, present in various regions around the world, including the United States. As the name suggests, these pests have an affinity for tobacco. Cigarette beetles often lay eggs in the creases of freshly harvested, baled, or bundled leaves during storage, rather than on live plants in the field. In warmer areas, five or six generations per year may emerge, while the U.S. generally experiences up to three generations annually. These beetles are adaptable and can also be found infesting food storage areas. Moreover, they have a reputation for chewing through books, manuscripts, furniture fabrics, and various other organic materials. Being aware of their potential habitats and behaviors can help in implementing appropriate measures to prevent or address cigarette beetle infestations.

Cigarette Beetle Habitat

Cigarette beetle adults are skilled fliers and tend to take flight during late afternoons and on overcast, cloudy days. These active beetles persist throughout the year and are particularly attracted to storage areas or warehouses with dried tobacco. In southern regions, cigarette beetles might fly from nearby warehouses to homes, leading to re-infestations. Additionally, they have a penchant for invading households in search of sustenance, feeding on cereal, flour, and other stored pantry items that are commonly found in most households. Understanding their flying patterns and preferences can help in devising effective strategies to mitigate the risks of cigarette beetle infestations and safeguarding stored products.

Cigarette Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Cigarette beetles are not harmful to humans or pets, but they can be a nuisance. They like to infest food and pet food, causing problems. They are destructive pests for stored tobacco and books, harming the binding and pages. If you suspect an infestation at home, focus on finding and getting rid of the infested items, especially spices, pet food, and old rodent bait. If you are dealing with a cigarette beetle problem, contact your local beetle exterminators for help.