I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota..and the past two weeks we have been infested with these bug in the back yard. They have not made it inside the house yet, thank goodness! It pinched my husband the other night while he was outside and it latched on to my Westie’s nose, and sent her barking and crying! >Can you help me? We have asked all of our neighbors and no one has ever seen anything like this in our area. What is this thing? And how do I get rid of it? Thanks,
This is a Stag Beetle. We are not certain what species, and we will enlist the assistance of Eric Eaton with a more exact identification. You must have a plentiful larval food source in your immediate vicinity. The grubs eat rotting wood, so perhaps a dead rotting tree or a neglected firewood pile is the source of the Stag Beetle population explosion.
Update: (06/29/2008) About the Stag beetle
Dear Heather, I know it’s not great to get pinched, and I am sorry that happened to your husband and your dog, but please don’t try to eliminate your stag beetles, they are a vital part of the forest ecosystem. Probably where your house is now used to be forest not too long ago, or perhaps you are near the edge of forest still. It sounds as if this year there is a surge in the population of stag beetles, and right now the adults are all hatching out, but very soon they will all disperse to find other dead wood, and you won’t be bothered by them any more. Stag Beetles are impressive, and to me they are some of the aristocrats of the beetle world. Best to you,
The stag beetle is either a female or “minor” male of the “pinching beetle,” Lucanus capreolus. Am I going to hell because I laughed at the poor doggie? I can’t imagine an “infestation” of stag beetles, but simply turning off the outdoor lighting would help. They are attracted to lights at night. In the absence of that attraction they will probably fly elsewhere to look for mates.
Thank you so much for your response and your assistance. Now that we know what they are, and that they are not a threat or anything, we will let them be and hopefully they will move on soon on their own. No one will be going to hell for laughing at the fact that my poor puppy (only 12 weeks old) got “pinched.” It was quite the sight and we laughed too. Thanks again!
Correction: (07/04/2008) Forwarded by Eric Eaton
I had a look at What’s That Bug , and would like to suggest that this entry Stag Beetle is probably a Lucanus placidus. Once I had an interesting correspondence regarding this species from Minnesota as well, and posted the lot in the bugguide. Interesting to know that it is you running this site, I used to visit when I had a lot a stag beetle emails, this before the emergence of the bugguide! All the best,