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Bread beetle Stegobium paniceum

The Bread beetle is tiny, for it is measuring 2 to 3 mm only. It is brown all over, covered in short brownish hairs. It has club like antennae, which means the antennae start slim, but end in three bigger segments. The shields are grooved. It does actually look likes its cousin the Cigarette beetle. The latter however has no grooves in the shields and longer serrated antennae. The Bread beetle is a capable flyer. Adult beetles are short lived and don't feed.

The larvae are white and covered in hairs. After hatching they may survive for a week without nourishment. They eat nearly everything: leather, hair, dried food, dog food, pasta, rice and even pharmacological products. A female Bread beetle may deposit up to 75 eggs. And the life cycle is short: less than 1 month when the temperature is right (some 30 Celsius). The Bread beetle originates from tropical zones of this world. Its development completely stops when temperatures are not above 15 Celsius. It will then be inactive, waiting for better conditions.

Man has transported this beetle all over the world. In Europe and Northern America it is mainly found indoors, where it may become a real pest. Making sure the goods are well packed may be sufficient to keep out most unwanted insects, but the Bread beetle is a Woodworm. It may bore through many kinds of packaging: paper, wood, plastic, board. This makes it a serious enemy to deal with. And because they are very small they may go about unnoticed for a while. In the wild the species is found in subtropical and tropical parts of the world. Nowadays a common species all over the world. In temperate and colder areas found primarily indoors.