How To Get Rid of Drugstore Beetles Safe and Fast

Identifying, inspecting, preventing, and getting rid of a drugstore beetle.
Phyllis McMahon
Phyllis McMahon
Research Writer
Phyllis teaches English Literature at a local college and loves writing in her free time. She’s also a great cook – her British beef Wellington is something the best res read more
Reviewed By
Chas Kempf
Chas Kempf
Expert Consultant
Chas works in a professional pest control company and knows all the nuances of this job. Also, he’s a fantastic tennis player and loves to organize BBQ parties for his fam read more
Last updated: August 26, 2023
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Dealing with any kind of bug infestation is tough and can feel very gross. Drugstore beetles get their name from finding their way into packaged and processed foods. This can ruin the appetite of anyone and cost money to the businesses having to throughout infested products.

Whether you are a business suffering from the damages of drugstore beetles or you’re finding them in your house, you will want to know how to get rid of drugstore beetles. If you don’t get rid of them, they will continue to infect your food and render it unusable. No more cereal, flour, or even pet food with these creatures around.

Identifying a Drugstore Beetle

The first step to knowing what kind of bug is infesting your building is to look at its identifying features. A drugstore beetle, also known as bread beetles, doesn’t have a super distinct look to them. However, they do have identifying features that will allow you to figure out what this creature is.

When identifying these drugstore beetles, check out their appearance, how long they are around, and where the bugs are located.


How To Get Rid of Drugstore Beetles Safe and Fast
Drugstore beetles have a very cylindrical body shape, they look like dark-colored pills.

The first step to identifying any kind of bug is looking at its appearance. We identify bugs based on their look, how many legs they have, what color they are, and even how big they are.

First, these beetles are a reddish-brown color that allows them to better blend in with bread products and some other foods. These creatures aren’t big either, only being 3.5 mm long at the most.

To distinguish the drugstore beetle from other kinds of similar beetles, pay attention to their antenna and their wing covers. The drugstore beetle won’t have a serrated antenna, but instead, its antenna will have 3 sections and a rounded end. Then, the wing covers of the drugstore beetle have lines and ridges down their length.

Life Cycle

Their life cycle lasts a decently long time for that of a bug. Adult drugstore beetles will live for up to 65 days, while the entire life cycle can be up to 7 months long. However, these beetles usually get killed before 7 months due to being caught by people who don’t want beetles in their building.

More commonly, drugstore beetles will live for about two months before coming to their demise. When a female drugstore beetle lays its eggs, there will be about 75 eggs that will end up hatching into more beetles.


As stated before, these beetles can most commonly be found in processed and packaged foods, which is how they get their name of being drugstore beetles. They will worm their way into different foods to get their nutrients and processed foods are very attractive to them.

Their preferred habitat is warm and outdoor environments, which is the location that many of us are okay with these creatures living in. However, once they get into our pantries or are in our stores, then problems happen.

Sometimes, the drugstore beetle will simply follow the light. They will be anywhere where they can find a good amount of light and food.

Getting Rid of a Drugstore Beetle

Now that you are able to successfully identify the beetles that you are dealing with as drugstore beetles, you can now know how to get rid of them. There are several ways that you can get these gross beetles to leave your home or commercial building.

1.     Sticky Traps

Your first option for getting rid of drugstore beetles is using bug traps, such as the InVite glue boards. Place glue or sticky traps around the areas where you are finding more drugstore beetles. It includes places such as your cabinets, around your pantry, and by the windows. Anywhere that you are seeing these beetles come from, place those traps.

Over time, more and more of the beetles will get trapped on the sticky pads, and they won’t be able to reproduce, effectively killing off many of the beetles.

2.     Insecticides

If glue traps aren’t your preferred method, there are plenty of liquid and powder killers that you can place around the areas where you are finding drugstore beetles. The application of these products is super easy. Whether you are using a powder or liquid, you will pour the product near all the crevices in your home.

In your kitchen, place the insecticide near the doors and windows. Place them under or inside cabinets if you are finding these beetles near your food. Again, just put it anywhere that you are seeing a lot of these beetles come from.

The options for insecticides are endless. They come in many different forms, like the Drione dust, coming in either a bottle or a bucket.

Most insecticides that work against beetles will also work against the drugstore beetle. They will also help if you need to know how to get rid of powder post beetles or how to get rid of cinch bugs. Insecticides can really do it all.

Natural Remedies

How To Get Rid of Drugstore Beetles Safe and Fast
When using a vinegar mixture, always wear gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to protect your skin.

There are also natural ways to get rid of drugstore beetles if you are worried about the effects of bug poison in your kitchen. However, do remember that they make insecticides that are safe to be around the kitchen, pets, and children.

A vinegar mixture is a cure-all for most kinds of bugs. Mix vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio or mix water, vinegar, and dish soap together to create a very simple bug-killing spray. Use this spray around your house and kitchen. Beetles hate the smell of vinegar and dish soap works to kill the beetles when they come into contact.

Clean Everything

Once you get all the bugs out of your kitchen, or at least mostly removed them from your kitchen, you should take the time to clean everything. Remove all the food and other objects from your cabinets and drawers.

If necessary, take a vacuum to these areas to remove crumbs and fallen food. Then, take Lysol spray or wipes to wipe down the inside of these places to make sure everything is completely clean. Feel free to vacuum your kitchen and the rooms around your house if you are finding these beetles outside of the kitchen as well.

Cleaning makes sure that there isn’t any food laying around that would attract more beetles to come to your home

Preventing a Drugstore Beetle

The best way to keep drugstore beetles out of your place is to know how to prevent them. To prevent a drugstore beetle infestation, you have to keep your home or store clean. Don’t leave food open and lying around and make sure that you clean out your cabinets regularly. This gives the beetles nothing to be attracted to and they won’t be around.

If you have any open food, put it in a sealed container. Leaving your food in a bag with a clip (like chips or cereal) can be tempting, but if you are trying to prevent bugs, the sealable container is the way to go.

Any infested food or materials need to be discarded right away. You don’t want them sitting in your house for the other beetles to come and find.


Can drugstore beetles fly?

How To Get Rid of Drugstore Beetles Safe and Fast

Yes, drugstore beetles can fly once they grow into adults. They have wings on the back of their shells that are covered in textured lines. These wings allow them to fly, making these beetles much more annoying to kill and get rid of. As these creatures can fly, a bug zapper can also work on them, if there are any flying insects around you, consider checking out a compilation of the best bug zappers.

Do drugstore beetles bite?

If you are worried about the possibility of drugstore beetles biting you, you don’t have to! These beetles don’t bite. They aren’t dangerous to humans, so you don’t have to hold back during your killing spree of them.

Do drugstore beetles carry disease?

These beetle are not known for spreading disease. Even if they did carry a disease, since they don’t bite humans, they still wouldn’t be a danger to humans. Overall, biscuit beetles are harmless. They are just highly annoying to deal with and are really gross to look at.

Final Thoughts

Drugstore beetles look gross, take over our food, and are overall annoying to deal with. Luckily, there are several options for getting rid of drugstore beetles, you can choose the method that works best for you. Whether you want to go all out with the insecticide or start simple with a vinegar mixture, you have options to remove those pests from your food.

No matter what eliminating method you choose, you should always remember to clean the cabinets and other crevices in your kitchen. This will make sure that no beetles remain and no crumbs that would attract beetles stay behind. If you don’t clean, your house or store will continue to attract pests that no one wants to deal with.

Now you know how to get rid of drugstore beetles, so you don’t have to deal with them in your house or business any longer.

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