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Drugstore Beetle (Stegobium paniceum)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Drugstore Beetle

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Tiny, but relentlessly prolific, the Drugstore Beetle is a nuisance in homes as well as markets.

Updated: 04/30/2022; Authored By ; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Drugstore Beetle is commonly found in drugstores due to its tendency to feed on medications. This tiny brown beetle also eats almost anything else as well. Like other pantry pests, it feeds on flours, grains, and bread. It also attacks sweets like cookies, chocolate, and cake mixes. Animal matter like leather, wool fibers, and fur are edible, and museums and libraries may find them digging through books. It is a worldwide pest, and damage is typically done by the white larvae. The worm-like grubs have fine hairs on their white bodies and brown heads.

Because females can lay over 50 eggs at a time, infestations can pop up indoors seemingly overnight. Finding the main food source is critical for controlling and eradicating them. In homes, keeping food items in airtight containers helps prevent them from residing in the pantry or cupboard. The University of Florida suggests freezing non-food items infested with this beetle for days in order to kill all life stages present. In stores and markets, regularly cleaning and checking shelves for the insect is important for controlling any outbreaks from new inventory that may have arrived with the beetle eggs or larvae inside.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Drugstore-Beetle

plant and animal matter as well as paper, drugs, and textiles
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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Pest insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Coleoptera
        Family: Ptinidae
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          Genus: Stegobium
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            Species: paniceum
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Stegobium paniceum
Other Name(s): Biscuit Beetle
Category: Beetle
Size (Adult; Length): 2mm to 3mm (0.07" to 0.11")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown
Descriptors: small; miniscule; tiny; infestation; kitchen pest; pantry

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 2mm (0.1in) and 3mm (0.1in)
Lo: 2mm
Md: 2.5mm
Hi: 3mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Drugstore Beetle may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Drugstore Beetle. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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