Cigarette Beetle on the ground - cigarette beetle control services by Kona Coast Pest Control in Kailua Kona

Cigarette Beetle

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: Commonly found in stored products, particularly those of plant origin. They infest a wide range of dried food products, including tobacco, grains, cereals, flour, dried fruits, spices, and herbs. Additionally, they may infest non-food items such as dried flowers, potpourri, and various types of animal-based materials like dried fish or leather.


  • Sometimes confused with the “drugstore” beetle.
  • Scavengers that feed primarily on dry, organic matter and are especially attracted to products with high carbohydrate content, such as grains, seeds, and processed foods.
  • Eggs are laid on or near the food source, and the larvae hatch and feed within the stored products, causing the most damage.
Featured Image

Cigarette Beetles in Kailua Kona

The cigarette beetle, present worldwide including the United States, is a significant pest particularly affecting tobacco. Eggs are typically deposited in the creases of freshly harvested, baled, or bundled leaves during storage, rather than on live plants in fields. In warm regions, they may produce five or six generations annually, while in the U.S., three generations are common. They also infest food storage spaces and are notorious for damaging books, manuscripts, furniture fabrics, and various organic materials.

Cigarette Beetle Habitat

Cigarette beetle adults exhibit robust flying abilities, often taking flight during late afternoons and overcast days. Their activity persists throughout the year, leading to infestations in storage areas or warehouses with dried tobacco. In southern regions, they may migrate from nearby warehouses to homes, potentially causing reinfestation. Additionally, they infiltrate homes to feed on common pantry staples like cereal, flour, and other stored products.

Cigarette Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

While cigarette beetles are not harmful to humans or pets, their tendency to infest food and pet supplies renders them a nuisance pest. This widespread species readily invades dried plant materials such as stored tobacco, proving to be the most damaging pest in such environments. Additionally, they pose a significant threat to books, causing damage to bindings and pages. If an infestation is suspected in homes, the primary objective is to locate and dispose of infested materials. Particular attention should be given to spices, pet food, and old rodent bait. If you are dealing with a cigarette beetle problem, contact your local beetle exterminators for help.