Biscuit beetles are omnivorous. They eat food, non-foodstuffs and drugs. Biscuit beetles feed on bread, biscuits, flour, cookies, chocolates and spices. The main non-food materials are leather, wool, hair, wooden objects, museum specimens and dried plant collections. This beetle can bore and pass through tin, aluminium foil and lead sheets. Stegobium paniceum larva is a serious concern for museums and antique collectors. They also called Drug Store Beetles as they have an affinity to infest pharmaceutical products, such as prescribed drugs.
Adult beetles are 2-3mm in length, reddish-brown in colour and similar to both the Tobacco Beetle and Common Furniture Beetle.
The female beetle lays egg singly up to 70-80 eggs at once in food sources. The larval period passes through several months (usually 6-7 months) depending on the food availability and ranges from 4 to 5 months, with the pupal stage lasting from 12 to 18 days. The complete life cycle of biscuit beetles is 7 months. In warm countries this beetle has up to four generations in one year. However, in temperate climates one generation per year is widely reported.
The source of the infestation should be traced. Any affected foods should be discarded. The area should then be thoroughly cleaned, and a residual insecticide labelled for ‘crawling insects’ can be used. Biscuit beetle can also be associated with birds’ nests. Nests should be removed and a suitable insecticide used if necessary. Stock rotation should be reviewed to ensure that products likely to be infested are used quickly. In the home, foodstuffs should be stored in tins or plastic containers.
Products to control Biscuit Beetle:
Cy-pro Plus (500ml)
Ecorex Action Plus (1L)
Cimetrol Super RFU (300ml)