Should I worry?
Location:  8 hours north west of Thunder Bay
August 12, 2010 7:34 am
A couple days ago late at night there was a pretty big bug flying around the living room. Since we live in very northern Ontario, in a small mining town surrounded by trees and water – there are quite a few moths and stuff. The creature landed on my arm and totally freaked me out! The next night (yesterday) the was one buzzing above the bed…. Tonight, we woke up in the middle of the night to a low battery chirping smoke detector only to find 30 or more of these things!!!! Flying, crawling around and if they are on their backs they wiggle and seem to be stuck! Now, it has been humid and rainy alot and all of the houses here are built on bedrock. A third of our main floor is finished and the other 2 thirds has open rock. Our living space is upstairs but you come in through the main floor and go upstairs. The whole lot of them were on the main floor. As I sent my husband to snap some pics for you this morning – he found 20 more in a bin! It looks lik e they go into things (vase in one pic and metal bin as well) and cannot get out. We burn wood and have had lots of wood in the house. None now because it’s summer. Is this some kind of infestation, should we have a fire (even thought its soo hot) to dry out everything down there?? I bought a dehumidifier yesterday – but we are so far north it will be here in 3 weeks. Do we need an exterminator??
Help please!! We dealt with flying ants last year and that was terrible – now these things are 3 to 4 times as big. I don’t even want to go outside ’cause I have to walk through there…
Thank you so much in advance for any help and advice you can offer!

Red Lined Carrion Beetle

Hi Amy,
Thanks for the thorough narrative account.  You do not need an exterminator.  We believe these are Red Lined Carrion Beetles,
Necrodes surinamensis, but the telltale red line is not really visible in your photos, either because it is absent from the beetles, or because the glass through which the photos were taken has obscured it.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults consume fly larvae (maggots), and perhaps some carrion” and “Rather nocturnal and is found at lights, unlike related genera. Adults locate carrion and mate on or near carcass. They feed on fly larvae there. Eggs are laid on soil near carcass. Larvae feed on fly larvae and carrion, pupate in soil. Adults overwinter in under litter(?) or in other protected areas. See Ratcliffe (1) for details. This species is supposed to be attracted especially, to dead birds. (Insects of Northeastern Iowa)  Has chemical defenses, and smells foul, like all carrion beetles and their larvae.”  We suspect there was a carcass or carcasses either in or near your home and that is the reason you experienced this phenomenon.  It will pass, and unless the corpses of birds continues to accumulate, you can probably count on this being a one time occurrence.

Red Lined Carrion Beetles

Thank you soo much, I took a quick look after your email and it does have spots!  We have bears and coyotes, foxes and deer, moose and alot of other smaller creatures.  I have no doubt that there are carcasses around… Yuck – and these things really creep me out (good thing we picked to live in the woods – geez) =) I guess I’ll let the hubby get them out of the house and keep my fingers crossed that they find another home!
Thank you soooo very much and I hope you have a wonderful summer!!

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