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The biscuit beetle (Stegobium paniceum) is one of the food industry's main insects.
The biscuit beetle is found worldwide but more in temperate areas like the UK. It is found mainly in food areas such as domestic pantry's and food warehouses and establishments. The adult female lays eggs amongst the larvae foodstuff and then the larvae crawl or chew through most packaging materials to feed voraciously.
Preferred foods consist of:
After a period of about two months the larvae pupates depending on temperature inside cocoons often with its own food source. One or two weeks later the adults hatch, their holes resembling "woodworm" exit holes.
Mating takes place shortly after they survive for about a month.
One of the signs of infestation is usually the presence of the beetles or the larvae or pupae. Other signs are packaging being eaten with hard material appearing to be bored.
The biscuit beetle can be classed as a pest due to its widespread occurrence, its flight / dispersal capability and its renown ability to breach most forms of packaging. It is more common in smaller establishments and domestic larders this results in often massive infestations in old out of date packets of foods.
A way of control is to remove and destroy infested materials, eradicate the rest with professional fumigation of bulk foods, finally to improve hygiene standards.