What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Brown beetle, four white spots
July 20, 2009
I found this little fella flying clumsily around my room tonight and caught him in my handy dandy bug catcher (after he made a mad dash for my hair! yikes!) and I was wondering what he is. He’s 3/4″ in length, caramel brown, with four white spots on his back (technically 8, i think, but they’re in groups of 2).
Kina A.
Memphis, TN

Ivory Marked Beetle

Ivory Marked Beetle

Dear Kina,
Your beetle is an Ivory Marked Beetle, Eburia quadrigeminata, one of the Long Horned Borer Beetles in the family Cerambycidae.  According to BugGuide:  “Larvae bore into heartwood of deciduous trees, esp. ash, hickory. May emerge from finished lumber years after milling
.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

41 Responses to Ivory Marked Beetle

  1. Pam says:

    I just found one of these guys walking on my couch. Are they common in the NE US? Are they dangerous to the house structure? Is there a natural deterant if so?

  2. M. Rose says:

    My Mom’s kitchen ceiling and walls are made of old barn wood and when it was first put in we had strange insects galore for the first year or so that was 10 years ago. This afternoon after a hard rain I noticed some water coming in around the chimney and then one of the Ivory Marked Beetles came down I assume he didn’t like the water. I was wondering if he had been hanging out in the wood this is the first one I’ve seen.

  3. Shea says:

    i found a beetle like this in my room except with 6 DOTS on it. And as I held it dow n because I was trying to get to a door and throw it outside but it was biting me and I dropped it. I’m a little scared now because he was creeping on my shoulder and it was a big Beatle that looked similar to this but I don’t know anything about the beetle. Any answers on what it is?

  4. Kiko says:

    So I just got home and I found one . Of these Ivory Marked Beetles on my back door outside. I didn’t know what it was, so I got a sandwich bag and put it in and it bit me through the bag.

  5. XIMENIA Brown says:

    I noticed this beetle flying around in my bedroom and I almost ran through the door, but instead I found the fly seat and gave it a hard swat, it didn’t kill it then I had to find it and it was hanging on my lamp shade, I knocked it to the floor, had my grandson take a picture while I was holding it with a paper towel and was making a strange sound like an outer space creature. I mashed him and flushed down the drain. I pray I never run into one again, it is something evil about that insect.

  6. Latrella says:

    Can these ivory marked battles harm humans

    • bugman says:

      You did not clarify what you mean by “harm humans” so we will err in the direction of caution and state “Yes, Ivory Marked Beetles might harm humans” and we will pose a scenario. A person with a morbid and irrational fear of insects is driving a car with the window opened. An Ivory Marked Beetle might enter the vehicle and startle the driver. The driver might lose control and wreck the car, causing grave personal bodily harm or possibly even harming others. Barring such an extreme example, Ivory Marked Beetles do have strong mandibles, and they might bite if carelessly handled, and the bite might cause a slight pinch, but the Ivory Marked Beetle is not poisonous, so no lasting damage will occur. Is a slight pinch harm? You decide.

  7. Julia says:

    Thank you bugman!

  8. Kyle thomas says:

    When they are babies, or whatever the term for a preteen bug is, what do they look like? I live in NC and just found one of these ivory beetles, but have found about 3 smaller, similar looking bugs, they lacked the white dots, but had a design that looked almost like tree bark

    • bugman says:

      Larvae are wood boring grubs that do not look at all like the adults.

      • Kyle thomas says:

        Thank you, if I find another I’ll try to take a picture, not sure if I’m able to upload but at least I can give a better description, just goping they aren’t cockroaches.

  9. Jujub says:

    Just found one in the corner of my kitchen. Not a fan of bugs, although for a bug it’s kinda cute with the markings…hubby trying to move him now…glad to know he flies!

  10. Harmonie Hefley-Lawson says:

    We found one of these cute guys tonight in the TX panhandle, in my empty tea cup on the porch. I’ve never seen one before in my 30 years of life, most of which have been lived curiously investigating bugs. Our friend thought he was dead and showed him to me, and I poked a stick towards his legs and he gratefully grabbed on. For the record, he only had two sets of spots. Does that mean he was a young bug?

  11. Phil says:

    I have lived in central Indiana about 60 yrs and I have never seen this Ivory Marked beetle. Good to know he is not harmful ! Squished him in paper towel, hard shell took a little effort. After reading your article if I find another one I will turn him loose outside ! Thanks, Phil

  12. Anna Dawson says:

    One of these just crawled down my arm and buzzed and scared the tar out of me, kids got a good laugh and he got put outside. Wondering if he could have been bored into the wood floor or trim in the house? We just bought a 140 year old house with lots of wood. I know death watch beetles can hide in trees and hatch decades after it’s become lumber. Can these guys do that too?

  13. Nancy says:

    Can this bugs drown???

  14. Nancy says:

    I found one in my room and poked it with a remote control. It made a weird sound (that I can’t describe)and I then put it inside a water bottle. I found one bigger bug then the one before and instead of killing it my mom set it LOOSE. I’m scared that more will come back and (as I learned through comments and websites) bite or mess my wood iteams up. AND THEY FLY! Please someone give me advice on what to do.
    Please….

  15. Shanna Cook says:

    My 9 month old cat was playing with one today. Could it be harmful to her if she plays with it another day?

  16. Vonda Streicher says:

    I just found one in Loveland, Ohio. Do we need to have our trees treated? Or worry about them getting in our home? We have a lot of wood work. Trim work, wood floors.
    Thank you

    • bugman says:

      According to BugGuide: “hosts include a wide variety of hardwoods (oak, ash, hickory, locust, chestnut, maple, elm, beech, cherry); larvae bore in heartwood” and “Notorious for emerging from furniture after as many as 10-40 yrs.” We don’t know how you would treat your trees, and we suspect anyone you contact to treat your trees would sooner separate you from your money than they would actually make a difference. This is a native species and we seriously doubt it will kill a tree unless that tree’s health was already seriously compromised. We also do not believe they will infest milled lumber, so your wood wor, trim work and wood floors should all be safe from infestation from Ivory Marked Beetles. Termites would be a much more viable threat.

  17. Sarah says:

    Brown and white or tan ish whit looking better with weird swirl markings two black ovals above eyes? Is this a postal beetle? It doesn’t look like the pictures I’ve seen though.

  18. Kelly says:

    Can I feed this to my praying mantis?

  19. Teresa Hinkson says:

    I just had one of these tan bugs with four white spots on it. It flew to the wall . I’m wondering . Is there more in my house. We just got alot of wood to be split outside. WHERE did it come from.??? Please let me know if you can

  20. Lyric says:

    So they’re not poisonous to humans?

  21. jeanette good says:

    well now that it is harmless ill go out and turn it loose. thank you mister bugman for the info.

  22. Arthur Smith says:

    Just came in from Golf. Found one of these guys on the floor next to my couch. I actually found him by accident stepping on him.i didnt crush him but at first thought in the “Roach” family. My question is are there usually more to look for. Never saw one but there are what seems to be a bunch of “New” species of bugs coming around.(Jersey Shore)
    “Should I worry about more?”

    • bugman says:

      It is a native species and no cause for concern. An isolated individual indoors was most likely attracted by lights.

  23. geneva says:

    we found one in collierville, tennessee

  24. Nan says:

    Thanks for all the q&a’s. First ivory marked beetle ever, and I’m 72! Weird tickle on my back, glad I tapped him to the floor. Probably b/c grandson is doing yard work this week. Appreciate info. He has gone to a far better place near our creek.

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