Cigarette beetle

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

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.

Scientific name

Lasioderma serricorne

Other names

  • Cigar beetle
  • Tobacco beetle


  • Adults:
    • about 3mm long
    • light brown to shining red protective outer layer
    • outer layer is finely punctured and covered with very short hairs
    • heads are bent down, giving a hunched appearance
    • can fly around 1km; dispersal (spread) is assisted by wind.
  • Oval, whitish eggs laid in and around food.
  • Mature larvae:
    • about 4mm long
    • curved and hairy
    • sensitive to light
    • pupate in silken cocoons covered with bits of food.
  • See more images:


Widespread in Queensland.


  • Tobacco and related products
  • Foodstuffs like cereals or flour
  • Compressed fibre boards
  • Wooden ornaments
  • Ponga (New Zealand tree ferns Cyathea species and Dicksonia sclerosa)


  • Although common in Queensland, the cigarette beetle is not a major pest.
  • 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.
  • Larvae cause most of the damage.
  • Small circular holes about 2mm in diameter left as adults emerge through covering materials.


  • Short life cycle. 5–15 weeks.
  • Adults are active all year.


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

Resources and research