need help!
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,

Hi Heather,
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,

Update: (06/29/2008)
Dear Daniel:
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.
Eric Eaton

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
Hi Eric!
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,

6 Responses to Stag Beetle

  1. marsy says:

    Help me. I want to know about this insect. I found them inside of my house, first in basement and after in kitchen and everywhere. Im going crazy and I don’t sleep all the night. Please can you help me to know why inside of house. Thank you.

  2. Mari says:

    I found one of these upside down on our outdoor wooden stairs and another one in our basement – more active than the one upside down. I carried them both off to the tall grassy area across the street and hope they made it! I also hope I don’t find anymore of them – they are huge and the pincers look scary! This is in Massachusetts – July, 2014

  3. molly says:

    whenever I encounter one of these is where they have no business being, then learn a couple dance moves in the bug zappers

  4. Veronica says:

    I have a ton of these in my basement in Minnesota. Why are they in the basement if they like rotting wood? Does that mean I have some sort of rotting wood in the basement that the larva are hatching out of? I don’t think (hope) we have any rotting wood in the basement, so how then did they get there?
    I have caught quite a few and take them outside, but really am not fond of so many in the basement. What do the adults eat?
    Do I have to worry about them in the house? Will they destroy wood?

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