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Cigarette beetle

Cigarette beetles are a pest found in stored food products, buildings and wooden ornamental materials.

In Queensland, 4 species of anobiid beetles (Family: Anobiidae) occur in and around buildings. Queensland pine beetles and common furniture beetles, native to Europe, are economically significant, while pine bark anobiids and cigarette beetles are not very important.

Only about 200, of about 1,100 species worldwide, are found in Australia.

Improved building practices for timber constructions have reduced the risk of attack and reports of damage.

Scientific name

Lasioderma serricorne

Description

  • Adults:
    • about 3mm long
    • light brown to shining red protective outer layer
    • finely punctured outer layer
    • covered with very short hairs.
  • Oval, whitish eggs laid in and around food.
  • Mature larvae:
    • about 4mm long
    • curved and hairy
    • pupate in silken cocoons covered with bits of food.

Distribution

Widespread in Queensland.

Damage

  • Attacks stored products and is often found in pantry items such as breakfast cereals, dog biscuits and paprika.
  • Attacks buildings or ornaments, particularly some compressed fibre boards and ponga (New Zealand tree ferns Cyathea species and Dicksonia sclerosa).
  • Larvae cause most of the damage.
  • Small circular holes about 2mm in diameter left as adults emerge through covering materials.

Biology

  • Short life cycle, may be only 5 weeks.
  • Adults are active all year.

Monitoring and action

  • Common in Queensland but isn't a major pest.
  • Obtain advice from pest control professionals to manage infestations in compressed fibre boards.
  • Use compressed fibre boards that are treated with insecticides during manufacture.
  • Paint or varnish all surfaces of untreated, insect-free, at-risk materials to prevent infestation.
  • Disinfect ponga ornaments by deep freezing for a few days. Prevent further attacks by thoroughly coating ornaments with clear varnish.

Contact

General enquiries 13 25 23