What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wood beetle
Location: ocean county, nj
May 24, 2014 10:06 am
the attached image came out of my table. we accidentally decapitated it when trying to extract it, so the image has no head, which is really tiny with two antennae. We can’t find what it is. the closest we got was a metallic beetle of some sort. it came out of cedar, if that helps, and we got the wood from a felled Hurricane Sandy tree
Signature: celia

Cedar Tree Borer

Cedar Tree Borer

Dear Celia,
We are sorry for the long delay in getting back to you, but this identification has been on our back burner for several weeks now.  We made a few attempts to identify the beetle, but we did not have any luck.  We should have paid closer attention to your information about it emerging from cedar, a wood not normally prone to insect infestations.  Today, while researching a different submission, we stumbled upon a posting in our archives of a Cedar Tree Borer,
Semanotus ligneus, and it matches your image, and it has the head which distinguishes it as a Longhorn Borer in the family Cerambycidae.  You can see additional images on BugGuide.  When lumber containing wood boring insects is milled, the emergence time may be delayed for years. 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: Ocean County, New Jersey

2 Responses to Cedar Tree Borer

  1. Frank LaDuca says:

    We found cedartree borer in a new eastern cedar bedroom set. The antennae head were coming out of the holes. The pictures confirm this is the bug we saw. The bedroom set is now out of the house. The builder confirmed the posts are not kilned dried….so bugs. Question – does the cedartree borer eat other kiln dried woods such as knotty pine or oak, which we have plenty of that in this house. We saw a few adults with the spotty body in the house. Do we need an exterminator? Many thanks for the advice.

    • bugman says:

      We are going to go out on a limb with our response, but we believe it. Most wood boring beetles are very host specific, hence the common name for the Cedar Borer. They generally infest wood prior to milling, but they will survive milling and then emerge, sometimes many years later. There is record of a Golden Buprestid emerging 51 years after wood was milled. So for two reasons we believe your furniture is safe and that you do not need an exterminator. The adults will not find a host tree unless you have cedar growing nearby outdoors. They will live a short life, cut even shorter without pollen, nectar or sap to feed upon. Adults like a high sugar diet. We would even consider returning the cedar bedroom set if you like it.

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