Soldier Beetles
I recently visited your site to find out what kind of bug was in my backyard. Today I have seen at least 30-40 soldier beetles. ( I know what they are because of info and pictures on your site.) I took some pictures of them, and have attached one because they are large files. Wanted to contribute since your site helped me figure it out. Do you know if they are harmful to cats and dogs? Just concerned because my animals play in the backyard.
Queen Creek, AZ

Hi Jo,
Somehow you have misidentified your beetle. This is not a Soldier Beetle but an Iron Cross Blister Beetle, Tegrodera latecincta. Blister Beetles contain a chemical, cantharidin, which can cause blisters on human skin. It is more of an irritant than a dangerous poison. If your cats and dogs try to eat them, they will probably have a severely irritated mouth.

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