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Drugstore Beetle Facts & Information

Protect your home or business from drugstore beetles by learning techniques for identification and control.

Drugstore Beetle Illustration
Stegobium paniceum
2 to 3.5 mm
Wings lined with punctures


How do I get rid of drugstore beetles?

What Orkin Does

Controlling drugstore beetles begins with a thorough inspection. It is important to find everything that they have infested. Insecticide application is the final step. It should be applied only in cracks and crevices. The object is to help eliminate any beetles that may be hiding without contaminating surfaces. Incomplete treatment can allow survivors to re-infest.

Your local Orkin Pro is trained to help manage drugstore beetles and similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Orkin Pro will design a unique beetle treatment program for your situation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior, Diet & Habits

Understanding Drugstore Beetles


  • Color: It is brown in color

  • Size: The drugstore beetle is a small insect. The adult is about 2 to 3.5 mm long.

  • Wings: The wing covers are lined with parallel rows of deep pits or punctures. The adult beetles can fly, and they are attracted to light.

  • Body: The pest is oval-shaped. Viewed from above, the head is not visible, so the beetle appears to be "humped."


Drugstore beetles infests many food products including:

  • Flour

  • Cereal

  • Spices

  • Chocolates

They also infest non-food products like:

  • Books and manuscripts

  • Fur

  • Leather

  • Horn

Drugstore beetles have even been found in products that are poisonous like strychnine.


Homeowners often discover adult beetles in the pantry or near the kitchen windows. Because they can infest such a variety of materials, they can become a problem in more than one part of a home.


The adult beetle lays eggs on the food. When the larva hatches, it eats and grows. The larva stage lasts for several months spins a silken cocoon when fully grown. Inside the cocoon, it takes more than two weeks for the larva to change to an adult. In a warm climate, drugstore beetles can produce as many as four generations per year.

More Information

The drugstore beetle, is a pest of stored products. The scientific name, paniceum, comes from the Latin word for bread. Some people suspect that the drugstore beetle’s common name came from its tendency to infest the herbs that early druggists used as medicine.

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