Tobacco & Biscuit Beetles (Lasioderma serricorne & Stegobium paniceum)
The Tobacco beetle is about 2.5 mm in length, the adult beetles are oval and covered with small hairs which give them a silky, yellowish-brown colour. Adults are strong fliers and prefer subdued light and temperatures over 65 degrees F.
The Biscuit beetles are about 2 – 3mm long and light brown to red brown in colour. Their bodies are covered with fine, silky hairs, and they have distinct grooves in their wing covers which can easily separate them from Tobacco beetle. Biscuit Beetles have antenna that end in three enlarged segments.
The larval stages of both beetles can feed on a variety of stored products including tobacco, grain, cereal products, ginger, raisins, dates, pepper, dried fish, drugs, seeds. The female produces about 100 eggs and the entire life cycle can be completed in 45-50 days.
The first step in control of the tobacco and biscuit beetles is to find the source of the infestation. This means inspecting all of the dried foods in the infested cabinets or drawers. Once the infested material is found, it should be destroyed. Insect Monitors are essential in commercial situations to highlight infestations. Infested commodities can be treated (usually be fumigation) or destroyed, whilst the building fabric can be treated with residual insecticides.