Cigarette Beetle

Cigarette beetles are a very common pest in the United States, and they get their name from their habit of getting into tobacco products such as cigars and chewing tobacco. These beetles have also been known to hide in other stored goods, such as dried fruits and flour, which causes them to be transported via commerce quite frequently. Cigarette beetles have also been known to chew through paper products, furniture upholstery, and organic materials. In a single year, three generations of cigarette beetles can emerge throughout the country, which means that they are a very pervasive pest in this area.




 Size 2 to 3 mm
Characteristics Small, squat beetle; shiny reddish-brown.
Legs 6
Antennae Yes
Wings Yes
Habitat Known for infesting tobacco products, food storage spaces, and other pantry items. 
  • Lays eggs directly onto food to ensure larvae have something to eat when they hatch.
  • Often confused for the “drugstore” beetle, which are actually a slightly smaller and lighter brown species.
  • Known for consuming tobacco and other stored food products.
Cigarette Beetles in the Pacific North West Cigarette beetles are a common pest in the United States, and they are known for causing significant destruction to stored food products. These beetles lay their eggs directly on top of dried food items such as cereal, dog food, rice, and tobacco – hence their name. However, cigarette beetles don’t just spoil food items; they also regularly eat through books and other paper products. If cigarette beetles make it into a home, they can be a major pest that is difficult to get rid of.
Cigarette Beetle Habitat Cigarette beetles are active all year long, though they are busiest in late afternoons or on dull, cloudy days. The adults are strong fliers and will infest storage areas or warehouses that contain dried tobacco or other stored food products. Female cigarette beetles lay an average of 30 eggs over a period of 3 weeks, and these eggs are placed directly on top of a food source. In warm and humid climates, these beetles may also fly into homes and feed on items like cereal, flour, and other pantry staples.
Cigarette Beetle Behavior, Threats, and Dangers Though cigarette beetles are not known to be aggressive or transmit disease to humans, their habit of getting into stored food products can make them a major pest. By laying eggs directly into dried food, these beetles are capable of spoiling large amounts of pantry goods in a short amount of time. Cigarette beetles are also known for chewing through books and other paper products. If you are experiencing an outbreak of cigarette beetles on or around your property, a professional beetle exterminator can help you remove the pests quickly.