black & yellow striped bug
September 29, 2009
Hi Bugman, I submitted this last week, but I think it might not have gone through. These black and white striped bugs are all over our Globe Locust trees, and I would love to know what they are, are they beneficial or something to be concerned about. Any danger in handling them?
Neal Schuster
Overland Park, KS (Kansas City area)

Locust Borer

Locust Borer

Hi Neal,
It was observant of you to associate the Locust Borer with your Globe Locust Trees.  The Locust Borer is a native insect.  Here is what BugGuide has to say:  “Life Cycle  Eggs are laid in locust trees in the fall. Newly emerged larvae spend several months in tree trunks, first hibernating through the winter under the bark, then tunneling into trees in spring, eventually making tunnels about 4″ long and .25” inch wide. They pupate late July/early August. Adult beetles emerge late August to September (click on the Data tab for a graphic confirmation of that fact).  Remarks  Considered a serious pest of Black Locust trees; previously weakened or damaged trees are often killed by an infestation of the larvae. Previously confined to the native range of Black Locust in the northeast, it has spread with the trees throughout the US. Unfortunately Black Locust is used for reclamation and similar projects where trees are likely to be stressed out and thus more vulnerable to insect damage.
Adults feed on pollen and they are generally associated with Goldenrod.

Locust Borer

Location: Overland Park, Kansas

7 Responses to Locust Borer

  1. ladyakita0701 says:

    ty i know now what was all over the outside of my house. and coming from the roof even. i haved lived at this apt. for 4 years and have never seen them.

    • bugman says:

      Dear ladyakita0701,
      Though you did not submit a photo nor indicate your location, we suspect that you actually saw Hickory Borers, an insect in the same genus as the Locust Borer, and also very difficult to distinguish from the Locust Borer. The Hickory Borer appears in the spring, and the Locust Borer appears in the fall. We just posted a letter with a blurry photo of a Hickory Borer, part of a large emergence in Kentucky.

  2. brice says:

    I have the locust borer in my house and I don’t know the best way to get rid of it

    • bugman says:

      If you have Locust Borers in your house, they most likely came in on firewood. They will not damage your homes or its furnishings. Calling an exterminator is unnecessary.

  3. Vicki Kessler says:

    I have discovered Locust Borers in my house the last few days. We burn firewood, but I believe they are coming from the numerous black locust trees surrounding my house. My question is, do they bite? Are they dangerous to people or animals?

    • bugman says:

      Locust Borers do have strong mandibles, and they may bite if carelessly handled, but we do not believe a bite would draw blood. Barring some freak accident, like a person choking to death after swallowing a Locust Borer or wrecking the car if a Locust Borer distracts the driver, they are not considered dangerous to people or pets.

  4. Barbara K. says:

    We have a pond and woods around our home and we have a wood burning fireplace. We have seen either Locust or hickory beetles for the first time ever this spring and inside! Last year boxwood beetles arrived and year before stink bugs. What’s next in Western NY?

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