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Pests/cigarrette or drugstore beetles in my bed

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Question
QUESTION: Hello,

Every couple days I come home from work to find a tiny beetle in my bed. After researching online I believe it is either a drugstore or cigarette beetle. I'm thinking drugstore.  I often find it come onto my computer screen when I'm working in bed (attracted to light)  and it can definitely fly.

I don't know where they are coming from. I don't keep food in my room. I don't know if it likes an Ikea foam mattress?? I don't see a source and I don't know how to get rid of them. I have a small potted plant but I don't see them in the soil. I don't know what to do!


Thanks,

ANSWER: Maria,

These two species are difficult to tell apart and their biology is so similar that they can be treated together. See http://www.livingwithbugs.com/cigarette_drugstore_beetle.html for photos. Both infest stored foods but they can both fly so the source may not be in the same room where you find the adult beetles. Search where you store food in the house and you'll probably find the infestation, eventually. Since the beetles are harmless (except for damage to stored food) don't be too concerned if you are only seeing a few beetles. Be sure to check any dry pet food in the house FIRST.

Jack DeAngelis


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you Jack.

I don't see the beetles in my kitchen, I only ever see them in my bed. Do you still think they must be some where in my kitchen? I've never seen them in my cabinets. Is there something they could be attracted to in a bedroom? Always on my mattress?

Answer
There could be spilled or discarded food in that room or a nearby room. They are not attracted to bedrooms or mattresses. Even a small amount of food (a few kibbles of dog food for example) can support many beetles so check carefully for sources. Post a picture and I'll confirm the id.

Jack DeAngelis

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects such as aphids and spider mites, insects that bite and sting such as ticks and wasps, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Organizations
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html Fine Gardening magazine

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology (the study of insects)

Awards and Honors
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

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