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Elimination

The first step is to find the source of infestation and eliminate all infested food. Any untouched food should be stored in airtight containers. Next, vacuum all cracks and crevices to remove any crumbs and insects they may contain. To avoid reinfestation, it is best to discard the vacuum bag, since the bugs can continue to multiply inside. Last, use a liquid insecticide like Maheu&Maheu Crawling Insect Killer or a powder product with residual action like Maheu&Maheu Insecticide Dust . Apply in all cracks and openings in the pantry and adjacent areas. Avoid washing all treated surfaces for about a month. It is strongly suggested you line pantry shelves with paper before putting any food back, so the containers do not come into contact with the insecticide.

Actions

  • Put all food in sealed containers
  • Vacuum pantries and under appliances (empty receptacle/dispose of bag)
  • Spray or treat the perimeter of the kitchen with an insecticide as well as cracks and crevices in pantries

Prevention

  • Store food in sealed containers

Description and development

The Drugstore Beetle (Stegobium paniceum L. ) is a holometabolous insect of the order of Coleoptera from the Anobiidae family. It resembles the Cigarette Beetle but has different-looking antennae. The Cigarette Beetle’s antennae are like saws, while the Drugstore Beetle’s are club shaped and the last three segments are bigger. The adult is a small, light brown colored insect 2.5 to 3 mm in length whereas the larva is mostly white and less than 3 mm in length. The female can lay 40 to 60 eggs over her life span. The larvae molt four times or so before turning into pupae, then adults. The complete life cycle lasts about 70 days in favorable conditions, but can extend up to seven months.

Habits

The insect hides its antennae and legs under its body when at rest. “Playing dead” like this makes it harder to spot. The larvae are the ones that cause damage, because the adults do not eat during their short existence. The larvae feed off a great variety of foods (stored foods, dried vegetable matter, etc.), but take a particular liking to spices. The larvae can also seriously damage books, and are capable of perforating sheet lead or thin sheets of aluminum. They are also sometimes found in dried flowers.

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