Subject: Bug bites my toddler
Location: Mooringsport, louisiana
April 6, 2016 4:09 am
This bug bit my one and half year old last night at 1 in the mornin then we found it dead on the counter this morning. Can you tell me what it is?
Signature: Nervous mom

Soldier Beetle

Soldier Beetle

Dear Nervous mom,
This is a predatory Soldier Beetle in the family Cantharidae, and it resembles images of
Podabrus brunnicollis posted to BugGuide.  Soldier Beetles are beneficial and they are not dangerous.  Your request brings up several questions in our mind.  How do you know this individual bit your toddler?  What caused it to appear mysteriously dead on the counter?

My toddler had red bites on him after this bug was on him and was screaming. No other bug was on or neR him. We have no idea why he died or how, i assume he found some of the poison our bug guy sprays monthly.
Stephanie A

Location: Mooringsport, Louisiana

13 Responses to Soldier Beetle bites Toddler

  1. teresa says:

    this beetle eats nectars and pollens and sometimes aphids. this beetle did not bite your child.

    • Lisa says:

      I was bitten by one today observing them! One landed on me and I didn’t know it until it bit me! So yeah, they can and apparently do bite.

      • Lisa says:

        I do think the species that bit me was different because this doesn’t look the same as the soldier beetles on my north facing wall. Mine are all black.

        • Jennifer Shea Hutson says:

          Did it look like an adult lightning bug?

          • Lisa says:

            I honestly don’t remember! I do remember it was skinner and smaller than an adult lightning bug. I use the Seek app to help identify bugs, but for some reason, it donesn’t look like I got a picture of this guy.

    • Jennifer Hutson says:

      I was also bitten by one, that landed on my leg. It hurt bad enough for me to keep my eyes peeped any time I go outside now.

  2. Mae says:

    Well actually I have been searching for this bug as I was bit by one this afternoon! It’s identical to the one that bit me and it was painful and I have a red whelp on my leg. We live in SW Virginia for reference.

  3. Bob says:

    I was bitten twice this morning by two differnt soldier beetles.

  4. Tweebr says:

    My son was bit by a bug that looked exactly like this beetle today also and he has a big welt where he was bit and he said it was very painful. I have been looking for a bug that matched this description since around noon. I swatted the bug after it bit my son so I saw it up close. Wish I had taken a picture! We live in MN.

  5. Justin says:

    I was bitten by the same bug. I picked it up thinking it was a firefly only to be bitten.

  6. Wilson Judy says:

    I too was bitten by a soldier beetle …. Previously I had thought them to be harmless . We have a large infestation of them in our lime tree near the chicken coop … They love the chicken water feeder.

  7. Ethan says:

    One landed on my neck and swatted it with my hand and bit me on the hand. Yes they do bite.

  8. Jennifer Hutson says:

    These bugs very well do bite! I was sitting on my porch one morning, and one landed on my leg. Didn’t know it had, til it chomped down, then I flung it off me.

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