Cigarette Beetle


Actual Size: 2 to 3 mm

Characteristics: Small, squat beetle with shiny reddish-brown color.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Wings: Yes

Habitat: Prefers damp environments and tropical climates. Most famous for infesting tobacco and stored food products.


  • Mainly consumes tobacco and other dried or stored food products.
  • Deposits eggs onto food sources to ensure larvae can feed when they hatch.
  • Often mistaken for the “drugstore” beetle.

Cigarette Beetles in the Pacific Northwest

Cigarette beetles are one of the most common pests throughout the United States. These beetles are most known for causing destruction to stored food products, as they primarily feed on dried food items such as cereal, flour, rice, and dog food. Cigarette beetles also get their name from their habit of consuming tobacco products. But, tobacco and food items aren’t the only things that cigarette beetles will consume; they have also been known to chew through books and other paper products.

Cigarette Beetle Habitat

Though cigarette beetles are most drawn to damp or humid climates, they can be found all over the world. These beetles are year-round pests that do not hibernate, and they are most active in the afternoon. Adult cigarette beetles are strong fliers, which allows them to access hard-to-reach areas. Female cigarette beetles are capable of laying an average of 30 eggs over a span of 3 weeks, so infestations can spread quickly. These eggs are placed directly on top of a food source so larvae can eat immediately upon hatching, which means that cigarette beetles can easily spoil the contents of your pantry.

Cigarette Beetle Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Cigarette beetles are not considered aggressive and have not been known to transmit diseases to humans. That said, their habit of spoiling stored food products can make them a major nuisance to homeowners. Cigarette beetles are known to chew through everything from tobacco products to books to dried food, such as rice or cereal. They can cause significant damage even within a short amount of time, which is why it’s important to contact a professional beetle exterminator if you see the signs of an infestation in your home.