© Queensland Government
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.
- Cigar beetle
- Tobacco beetle
- 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
- Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA)
- Edde, P. 2019, Biology, Ecology, and Control of Lasioderma serricorne (F.) (Coleoptera: Anobiidae): A Review, Journal of Economic Entomology, 112(3):1011–1031, viewed July 2023.
- Peters, BC, King, J, Wylie, FR. 1996, Pests of timber in Queensland, Queensland Forestry Research Institute, Brisbane.
- Last reviewed: 21 Sep 2023
- Last updated: 25 Sep 2023