Drug Store Beetle Identification & Prevention

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Frequently Asked Questions About Drug Store Beetles

a drugstore beetle on bread

What are drug store beetles?

Drug store beetles are a type of stored pantry pest, they received their name from their habit of feeding on prescription drugs. In addition to prescription drugs, drug store beetles also eat a variety of both food and non-food items, including flour, spices, cereals, dry pet food, books, wool, leather, horns, and museum specimens. They are not picky eaters and will feed on almost anything they come across.

Adult drugstore beetles have an oval body shape and are a brownish-red color. They grow to about 1/8th of an inch in length and have six short legs. Drugstore beetles have a smooth antenna that ends in a three-segmented club. They have striated wing covers covered in longitudinal rows of fine hairs. Drug store beetles have a head that is bent at an angle, giving them somewhat of a humpbacked appearance. Their larvae are small, white grubs and are covered in short hairs.

Are drug store beetles dangerous?

Drug store beetles feed on and contaminates food sources and damage personal property, making them a damaging and unwelcome pest.

Like other species of stored pantry pests, it is not the adults that cause the damage, but their developing larva. Larva contaminates or causes damage to whatever food source they were placed in. After hatching the larvae feed until it becomes time for them to pupate and emerge as an adult.

Why do I have a drug store beetle problem?

The most common way that drug store beetles find their way into your home and become a problem is through infested items purchased from a store. This could mean anything from cereal from the grocery store to a wool blanket from the thrift store.

Adults searching for food sources to lay their eggs can also enter homes through open windows, torn screens, or openings they discover around windows and doors.

Where will I find drug store beetles?

Drug store beetles live most successfully in warmer regions or inside heated buildings. Inside, adult drug store beetles rest on walls, window sills, or on pantries and cabinets. Their larvae or eggs live in whatever food source they were placed in.

Because of their varied diets drug store, beetles live in multiple areas of a home (kitchens, pantries, bathrooms, and basements). Besides our homes, drug store beetles live in many places including museums, drug stores, grocery stores, restaurants, and food processing facilities.

How do I get rid of drug store beetles?

Getting help from a professional Elizabeth City pest control expert is the best way to eliminate drug store beetles and keep them from returning. At Albemarle Termite & Pest Control, our technicians are highly trained and dedicated to providing affordable, safe, and effective home pest control services. We are a local, family-owned pest control company whose number one priority is putting our customers first and exceeding expectations. For home or business owners looking to eliminate pests once and for all, call Albemarle Termite & Pest Control today!

How can I prevent drug store beetles in the future?

Pests are not just a nuisance; they pose potential health risks and are capable of damaging property. Avoid problems with drug store beetles with the help of the following prevention tips.

  • Inspect food packaging for holes or rips before purchasing.
  • Remove dry goods from their original packaging and place them in glass or plastic containers with air-tight lids.
  • Don't mix dry goods from one container to another.
  • Rotate dry goods in the pantry, getting rid of old or expired items.
  • Wipe away crumbs that develop on the shelves of pantries or kitchen cabinets.
  • Store items made of wool, fur, or leather in plastic containers with locking lids, not in cardboard boxes that are easily accessed by drug store beetles.
  • Place weather-stripping around windows and doors.
  • Repair torn screens.

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