Pest Control News

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Biscuit Beetle – Do You Know What They Are?


The Biscuit Beetle – Do You Know What They Are?

There are all kinds of insects and tiny little critters that can invade our homes, sometimes without us noticing.
We often realise the signs of some of the more common insects, such as woodworm, carpet beetles and moths but there is another insect that is incredibly common in UK homes: The Biscuit Beetle.

What is a Biscuit Beetle?

Also known as a Drugstore Beetle, it is found worldwide but prefers a temperate climate like we have here in the UK.
It is common throughout the UK, especially in food storage and retailing premises. They are often encountered in domestic properties too.

What Do They Look Like?

They are small reddish-brown insects, around 3mm in length. If they are in your home, you will find them in stored foods in cupboards and larders.
They are closely related to the common woodworm or furniture beetle and are often mistaken for it. Similar in appearance, the problem with mis-diagnosis is that treatment for both pests are different. Thus, you may treat for woodworm only to find that you still have a problem after treatment.

What Are Biscuit Beetles Attracted to?

As the name suggests, Biscuit Beetles are attracted to flour, biscuits, cake mixes, cereals, spices and soup powders. However, they are a hardy pest and can survive on poisonous substances such as strychnine, belladonna and aconite, which is why the American’s call it the Drugstore Beetle.
This beetle has also been known to penetrate tin foil and lead, and eaten their way through a shelf of books too.

The Lifecycle

Their larvae, which is white, is very small, difficult to see but when they hatch, they are quite active. They feed and grow for around two months, depending on the temperature. The larvae pupate into cocoons, usually within a food material such as a batch of flour.
The adults hatch around two week later and this is where the confusion between this beetle and the woodworm occurs, as the emerging adult leaves small holes and frass in the material, much like the woodworm leaves in wood.
As soon as they emerge, the adults mate. Adult Biscuit Beetles can fly but do not feed. Their life cycle is short, living four weeks at the most.

How to get Rid of Biscuit Beetles

You may need the help of a professional pest controller as the source of the problem will need to be located. It is usually a food source, such as a batch of flour. Throw the infested food and make sure you wash containers, shelving and cupboard thoroughly to be rid of eggs.
These beetles can often find their way into the home through old birds’ nest in eaves and in gutters etc. thus, if you keep finding a new infestation, a pest controller may be needed to empty nests and so on from your property.
The Biscuit Beetle in not dangerous or hazardous and, in most cases, is simply a nuisance that leads to food wastage.

Although common, it is not usual for a home to be infested with them time and again. If you think there is a bigger problem to deal with, please call us.