How to Kill of Cigarette Beetles Fast (Ultimate Guide)

How to Kill of Cigarette Beetles Fast (Ultimate Guide)

How to Get Rid of Cigarette Beetles Effectively

Cigarette Beetles are annoying and it would be best if you killed them fast.

In this article I will cover every section in complete detail, so you can kill Cigarette Beetles with confidence.

Killing Cigarette Beetles will usually take up a good amount of time, so with patience and practice, you will have those Cigarette Beetles out of your hair in no time.

In many cases, it may be as simple as having a deep clean on your property and making hygiene a habit.

What are Cigarette Beetles and What are Cigarette Beetle Characteristics?

what are cigarette beetles

Cigarette Beetles characteristics include being light brown(mutations may occur) and have an arched back. Adult Cigarette Beetles are roughly 2-3 millimeters. They are segmented, with an ovular-shape, with antennas, and hair all over their bodies. They are very similar to Drugstore Beetles(more common), and have very similar lifestyles.

Their technical name is Lasioderma serricorne

Now, you must be wondering, are Cigarette Beetles harmful? Yes, Cigarette Beetles are harmful and will damage your furniture and belonging, and leave unwanted bacteria(potentially lethal) behind as they do so. However, you will not have to worry about biting or stinging, because Cigarette Beetles do not bite or sting.

Cigarette Beetles are called Cigarette Beetles because one of their main dishes happens to be tobacco products. 

However, Cigarette Beetles are known to eat much more than just tobacco products, they will eat a wide variety of foods such as coffee beans, pet food, dried fruit, cereal, books, dry flowers, paper mache, and even certain furnitures.

Cigarette beetles enjoy hot temperatures, even scorching hot temperatures. However they could die, or grow much slower if they are in a colder environment. They are very fast breeders and once you have them, they will invade your property non-stop, while leaving potentially harmful bacteria behind.

How Did I Get Cigarette Beetles?

Cigarette Beetles are located worldwide. However, they did spread more throughout a few parts in America, such as Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Chances are, they came through a crate, shipment, book, or magazine. However, they can also come from the outside if you usually have windows opened, gaps under your doorways, or have foundation cracks.

After entering your house, they will typically migrate to dim-lit areas, or areas with an exceptional food source.

To know for sure that you actually have Cigarette Beetle, you will have to make sure most of these things are happening. If debris is coming out of food packages, holes are forming in plastic packaging, you start seeing chewed food or chewed food containers, see signs of feces, or bite marks, you may have Cigarette Beetles.

Cigarette Beetle Life Cycles

cigarette beetle life cycles

These pests are fast breeders, similar to most other insects.

It starts with the female laying roughly 100 eggs in the span of 3 weeks. The female will lay eggs on a food source, so when the eggs start hatching, they will receive immediate food. After the female Cigarette Beetle is finished laying her eggs she will die, so if you start seeing a lot of dead beetles, then you wil have a larger problem ahead of you.

After the eggs have been laid, it will take 14 days for the larvae to hatch into Cigarette Beetles(in one female hatching there is a new colony). When they hatch they will look like small white segmented worms, with seemingly no hair. 

It will take about 50 days(assuming the temperature is warm) for them to be mature enough to spin into their cocoons to morph into a full adult, which takes 14 days. If the temperature is cool(65 Fahrenheit and under), it could take up to 90 days for this process to be completed. After male Cigarette Beetles reach full maturity, they will be able to fly.

From their they will start feesting and repeating. Enjoying the content? Consider following our new social media accounts.

Cleaning Will Help to Clear Cigarette Beetles

Cleaning will clear up Cigarette Beetles

Before I dive into the main methods, I will go through some overlooked matters in order to ensure the prevention of more Cigarette Beetles.

We live in a busy world and cleaning things up often gets overlooked, especially as a very helpful way to clear out unwanted insects like Cigarette Beetles.

Cleaning up your house should be your top priority before you even consider using a method for killing these insects.

The first step to cleaning is to toss out all of the junk that is unnecessary(it will help with much more than clearing out Cigarette Beetles). After that, you will probably want do your regular cleaning(vacuuming, sweeping the dust, etc.) After you have finished that, you will have to look around warm or dim lit areas to see if those areas are exceptionally clean.

Extra Cigarette Beetle Tips

This is just a quick run through of the things you should be doing if you have Cigarette Beetles.

1. Keep dry goods sealed. Your dry foods(spices, flour, cornmeal, hot cereals, grits, and other grain-based foods) should be sealed at all times. All your dry foods must not be exposed to air and should be airtight inside their container.

2. Check your books and bindings. Cigarette Beetles unfortunately do feast on books and book bindings as well. So, check all your books that you care about for any signs of damage and the books that don’t have damage should be stored inside an airtight container in case of migration.

3. Furnitures using upholstery is at risk. These pests are attracted to the stuffing in your couch. If you have Cigarette Beetles, than the chances are that you have Cigarette Beetles inside your couches and other things that include stuffing(certain pillows, certain toys, etc.) 

Your best bet is to either be faster than the Cigarette Beetles or spray all your furniture containing upholstery with a powerful insecticide(outside, not indoors) or replace the furniture after you have exterminated them. 

4. Your pet food is still a problem. You have to make sure you aren’t just using clips, or rubber bands to seal pet food. Plastic containers or garbage cans(that don’t store garbage of course) are ideal for storing pet food. 

5. Ditch those dried flowers. These(artificial and real flowers) are a good attraction for Cigarette Beetles. You can replace the flowers after you have exterminated them. 

6. Give a checkup on old furniture. Antique furniture may contain Cigarette Beetles, so give a checkup if you have any. If you don’t and you are planning to have antique furniture, than make sure to clean it upon entry of your property. 

7. Close up your property. If you usually open your windows, or have a foundation problem, than you should do your best to close it up. Even if there is a hole that is barely visible to the eye, that will be enough for Cigarette Beetles. 

8. Close those holes up to prevent further infestation. You can seal up your home with basic caulk foam insulation and for concrete, you can probably patch it up with a mix from the hardware store. You can also use pieces of wood to patch your holes up. 

9. Vacuuming carpets is not enough. Cigarette Beetles love carpets, especially because there is dirt, crumbs, and other things that may accumulate slowly, even with frequent vacuuming. 

To prevent them from damaging your carpets, you should steam and shampoo your carpets every few months(immediately if you have Cigarette Beetles.) 

10. Don’t try to kill them with temperature. Using the hot and cold is not that effective against these critters. These pests will stay year around, so don’t expect them to leave during summer or winter. 

11. Throw out those cigarettes and cigars regularly, you don’t want to feed them a thing.

12. Replace those broken screen windows or doors. New generations of Cigarette Beetles will easily be able to sneak through broken screens. So, learn how to replace your door and window screens.

How to Get Rid of Cigarette Beetles

get rid of cigarette beetles

There are various methods to get rid of Cigarette Beetles, and I will cover various different methods here.

1. The first method does not kill them, however it does repel them. This is to use vinegar, and they hate the smell. You simply have to apply half water and half vinegar into a spray bottle and apply it to all infested areas.

2. The  second method is to kill Cigarette Beetles, and if Cigarette Beetles touch this stuff they will die upon contact. This method is Lysol, You can use this on furniture and household objects without worrying about damage. You simply have to wipe down/ spray infested areas and that will solve a lot of your problems(It will at least kill the eggs if you targeted the correct infested area.)

3. The third method is to use Pheromone traps. These will release sex hormones to the insects and will attract the Cigarette Beetles. These traps will catch the Cigarette Beetles and won’t let them out ever. These critters are smart, so I recommend you buy a pack of six, and use it until the Cigarette Beetles know not to go there.

4. The fourth method is to use Aerosol sprays. The Alpine, PT, and Phantom Aerosol spray do an amazing job to remove these pests. This is an effective way to clear out those Cigarette Beetles for good.


That is all I have for this article. I hope you found this helpful, and I hope that your Cigarette Beetle problem will soon vanish. Remember, if not done professionally, this extermination job may take months.