You May Not Smoke But The Cigarette Beetle Does ;)

Does the cigarette beetle really smoke? Believe it or not this reddish-brown gets as close as it gets for a bug.

cigarette beetle A Beetle That Smokes Still Needs Pest Control

Fast Facts

Size: 1/16 to 1/8 inch
Type: Insecta
Diet: Spices in your pantry
life span:
Protection status: None

They love going into cigarette packages and other tobacco products but if you don't keep any of these products at home they are likely attracted to your kitchen's spices like paprika, dried fruits, seeds, nuts and other condiments.

If you have old spices in your kitchen you should inspect them prior to use, especially if they have been sitting in the cabinet for a long time.

Have you found the cigarette beetle in your spices? Or worse yet, your food?

Identifying the Cigarette Beetle

This beetle is also known as the "hunchback beetle", a name that is only obvious when observed under a microscope. You will see its head bending towards its belly which causes a hunch to be formed on the back of its head.

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Here are some Cigarette Beetle preventative measures and Pest Control Treatments

cigarette beetle Beetle and Larvae

Pest control measures for the this beetle are pretty simple and straight forward.

1. Start by locating the source. They tend to hang around your spice cabinet, find the products they have infested and dispose of them away from your property.

Also check windows and doors, since these bugs are attracted to light you will most likely find them by your windows or near bright lights. I usually use my vacuum to catch them.

2. Cleaning Time. As always, anytime you have a problem with pests you have to do some in-depth cleaning.

Empty out your kitchen cupboards and other food storage areas, grab your vacuum, warm soapy water, and a disinfectant you trust. Vacuum and thoroughly clean all food storage areas, I know that this process is tedious but there is no way around it.

Both vacuuming and the cleaning process that comes after are equally important. When you vacuum make sure that you concentrate both the larvae and the adults and when cleaning make sure you do a thorough job, I can't stress this enough!

cigarette beetle Beetle's Damage to Cigars

3. Before you start re-storing your food products and spices you'll need to inspect them. If you have unopened boxes go ahead and open them and inspect them well.

One way to minimize this headache is to keep food in storage areas for short periods of time, the longer an item remains in storage the greater the chance a cigarette beetle has to enter it.

4. Do you have pets? Yep! if all else fails, this beetle will go after your pets meal, especially dog food.

So, make sure your pet finishes every meal and only feed them when they are hungry.

You know your pet, they key here is not to leave their food unattended for extended periods of time.

Cigarette Beetle Chemical Treatments and Pest Control

I know that our frustration with pests tend to instantly make us think about the quickest solution, a pesticide. I don't recommend, or better yet, I strongly urge you not to use chemicals near your kitchen and especially where you store the food you are going to serve those you love.

The point is to exterminate your pest without harming your family or yourself!

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