Biscuit Beetle (Stegobium paniceum)

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Appearance:Adult

Oval Shaped, finely ridged wing cases with a convex profile. Head not visible from above. Body is mid-dark brown in colour. 2-3mm in size. Antennae have 3 segmented clubbed antennae. Adults are able to fly.

Life Cycle:
Eggs (60) are laid singly on or next to food. After 2 weeks small whitish larvae hatch and penetrate packaged material. Larval development takes 2-4 months and pupation in the food takes 2 weeks.

Adults emerge and bore exit holes through solid food substrate or thorough the outer food packaging. This is a key characteristic of the species. Adults live for 3-4 weeks.

Notes:
This beetle is cosmopolitan and is also common in the UK. It closely resembles woodworm beetles (and is closely related).

Associated with dry food storage throughout the UK. Concentrations of beetle activity can be heavy and occur in industrial, retail and domestic premises – wherever the conditions for growth are met.

Preferred foodstuffs include: spices, cereal products, powdered soups and similar products, insect collections and pet food.

Critically, growth requires a relative humidity level of between 10%-70% after which mould present in the product kills the larva.

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