The Adult Drugstore Beetle, a Stored Product Pest


(A) Drugstore beetles are approximately 1/8 inch long, light brown to tan, and covered with small, golden hairs. Wing covers are characterized by longitudinal rows of pits or indentations.

(B) Adult drugstore beetle antennae end in three expanded segments.

Drugstore beetles consume almost anything of plant or animal origin, including dog treats (C) and dried peppers (D). Note round exit holes made by adult beetles as they emerged from the infested item.


The adult drugstore beetle, Stegobium paniceum, has its head concealed and protected inside a helmet-like covering called the pronotum. Because it is concealed, the head is not visible when viewed from above. Adult drugstore beetles are light brown to tan, have hairy wing covers marked with longitudinal rows of pits, and antennae that end with three broadened segments (Figures A and B). In homes, drugstore beetles commonly infest dried herbs and spices as well as dry pet food, dog bones, rodent bait, dried flowers and plant material, books, taxidermy mounts, etc. (Figure C and D). Drugstore beetles can chew through packaging such as paperboard boxes, bags, and aluminum foil. Adult drugstore beetles are active, readily fly (are mobile), and are attracted to lights. Because of these behaviors, drugstore beetles can be found in areas away from the source of the infestation, often near windows and lights. Under these circumstances, a more thorough search may be needed to find the ultimate source of the drugstore beetle infestation. Damage from drugstore beetles includes characteristic round holes in infested materials made by adult beetles as they emerge from an infested item (Figures C and D). Like the weevils, drugstore beetles may feign death when disturbed. Adults are short-lived and feed little or not at all.




“Stored Product Pests in the Home” is a production of the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, University of Georgia. The original authors of this content are Daniel R. Suiter, Michael D. Toews and Lisa M. Ames.