Biscuit Beetle

Do you have black beetles in your food cupboards?

It’s possible you have a biscuit beetle infestation.

These biscuit beetle pests will make their home in stored products including vegetables, spices, cereals, drugs, and even dried flowers.

Biscuit beetles are typically found in kitchen cupboards or pantries. Biscuit beetles will target and damage stored foods like flour.

biscuit beetle uk
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Getting rid of Beetles

These beetles will attack a wide range of stored products including dried vegetables, spices, chocolate, cereals, drugs and even dried flowers.
They commonly get found in association with birds’ nests. The adult beetle does not feed but will fly from the source of infestation and will lay its eggs in other areas.

They are related to the common furniture beetle species and, as one might expect, are capable of chewing into fairly hard materials. An infestation might, therefore, spread into the fabric of a building, behind polystyrene tiles etc.

What Do Biscuit Beetles Look Like?

Key Features

Adult beetle length is 2mm – 3mm
Colour – reddish brown
Shape – oval
Covering – a dense covering of yellowish hairs
The head is hidden under the hood-like prothorax. Easily mistaken for the common furniture beetle or the cigarette beetle. The larvae are active initially but become fat, sluggish and eventually incapable of movement. A fully-grown larva is about 5mm long.

(stegobium paniceum)
Eggs are laid individually in foodstuff. Each female produces about 100 eggs. First stage larvae are active and readily crawl through small openings, thereby contaminating packaged foods. Once a food source gets located, the larva becomes less mobile with each moult.

After four larval moults, the insect larva constructs a small round cell from food particles and saliva, in which to pupate. Adults bite their way out of the cocoon and wander in search of a mate, often a considerable distance from the larval development site. In common with other insects, development times are influenced by temperature, relative humidity, moisture content, quantity and quality of food. The following figures are therefore only a guide.


Egg8 – 37
Larvae5 – 150
Pupa9 – 18
Adult in cocoon7 – 12*
*non-feeding42 – 56

The complete life cycle takes between 12-33 weeks.

The optimum temperature range is 25-28°C; development ceases below 17°C.

Biscuit Beetle Treatment Prices

Beetle treatment starts from £125 and this typically gets rid of the infestation. However, the number of treatments required will depend on the level of biscuit beetles present and the size and conditions of the area needing treatment.

To gain the actual cost of control call for an inspection visit and free quote to eradicate the beetles.

Biscuit Beetle Control UK

Treatment of an infestation of these beetles should start with identifying the source of the outbreak and the extent of product contamination.

Any infested foodstuffs should get destroyed, and the infested areas of the building, shelving, cracks and crevices should be treated using a residual insecticide.

Apex pest control services offer local professional pest control experts to deal with bugs and beetles. Contact us for help and more information on 0114 3491098

Call Your Local Pest Control Office

0114 349 1098

01709 794258

01226 397691

0113 390 4270

Popular Biscuit Beetle Questions

Also known as Drugstore Beetles, they are small brown beetles 2 to 3 mm long. Biscuit beetles are relatives of the woodworm beetle and may sometimes be mistaken for woodworm. They like to infest hard, dry, starchy foods such as cereals and spices. Biscuit beetles will enter packages which are not tightly closed and will bore through cellophane, tin foil and cardboard to reach foods.

The beetles are not dangerous, but they can be a nuisance when they infest food cupboard. Also, the beetles are often associated with old bird nests in roof spaces.
Biscuit beetles are widespread throughout the world and are likely to have been spread by the transfer of goods.  Its American name ‘Drugstore beetle’ comes from its ability to breed in a dried vegetable matter of any kind, even poisonous substances.

How long Biscuit Beetles Live for

The female biscuit beetles will lay eggs freely in a food source or crevices near to it. The conditions need to be 20ºC or more – this is the average room temperature the eggs will hatch and explore the surrounding
area. The young larvae crawl through tiny spaces to reach foodstuffs.

Biscuit beetles can survive without food for up to eight days. After around two months, depending upon the temperature, the larvae
pupate in a cocoon. Sometimes within the food until 1 to 2 weeks later the adults hatch.
The adult beetle will bore its way through food and packaging to emerge, making holes which can look somewhat like woodworm.

The adult beetles do not eat, and they wander around for about 3 to 4 weeks. Which in that time they will breed and lay more eggs. They will regularly go away from the original site and get
found on work surfaces and other locations in the room. They may sometimes be found
on window sills, as they get attracted by light.

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