Subject: NOISY BIG BROWN BEETLE
Geographic location of the bug: New Portland Maine
Time: 11:02 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hi there! I was hoping you could give me a confirmation as to what in God’s name this guy is!!?? I saw it scurrying across the kitchen floor and almost lost my mind as initially I thought it was a cockroach but it didn’t move as fast and has a different body shape (this guy is more rounded, kind of shell-like and the wings are side by side not folded across the back like a roach). I was able to put a paper cup over it and scoured the internet to find out what this is. I came across a click beetle, so turned it on it’s back to see if it made a “clicking” sound when it flipped back…it couldn’t flip over…it made a TON of noise though…like chirping/squeaking. I rolled it back and covered it again. Looked more and really I couldn’t find anything that matched, THEN I and found your site! It’s FANTASTIC! Within a few seconds I saw a picture of what I think I have here.. Brown Prionid. ..So other than a confirmation, I want to know if it’s a benign being and I should let it go on it’s way (outside of course) or a problematic intruder and I should burn the house down and nuke the yard? Oh, one more thing….are they capable of swimming?
Thanks a bunch!
How you want your letter signed: Elise in Maine
Thanks for the compliment. You are correct. This is a Brown Prionid, and in our opinion, you should release it and not “burn the house down and nuke the yard,” though that does make us chuckle and it reminds us of a response we once gave a reader, that “nothing short of a nuclear bomb will rid your property of all your dreaded insects.” According to BugGuide: “Breeds in poles, roots(?) in contact with wet ground” meaning the larvae develop in rotting wood. To the best of our knowledge, they do not infest homes nor do they trouble healthy trees, so in our opinion, they are benign. Furthermore, these large beetles are a very nutritious source of food for many forms of wildlife. They do not swim.