In the tropics the cigarette beetle lives in the wild, but it is also a pest in all kinds of stored, dried plant products. The British import controls discovered this particular beetle in 4% of shiploads while the drugstore beetle was seen in 0, 1% of the examined loads.
As a food pest in Northern European countries the drugstore beetle is at least 5 times as common as the cigarette beetle. The cigarette beetle requires a minimum temperature of 22 °C to survive. The drugstore beetle needs only 17 °C and it has the ability to withstand lower winter temperatures than the cigarette beetle. In Northern Europe, the cigarette beetle is forced to be strictly synanthrope while the drugstore beetle is not as strictly dependent on people. The drugstore beetle is common in pigeons’ nests in houses. Here it lives in dry and compact pigeon excrement, which represents a large proportion of nest material.