Darkling Beetle

Subject: What kind of beetle is this?
Location: Second growth hardwood forest, Cortland, N.Y.
December 2, 2013 10:31 am
Durning a wind storm the top of a big black cherry tree splintered and fell down. The center of the tree was mostly hollow. When cutting up the tree for fire wood this beetle was found. There were more beetles and tunnels through the rotten wood. Are they opportunistic or did they cause the death of the tree? Do I have to worry about them attacking my house?
Signature: M. Fortin

we cannot view your attachment.  Please resend and attach a photo or jpg.

Sorry-I don’t know how to attach a photo from iPhoto so I just copied it to this e-mail.
I live in the Finger Lakes area of New York state.  A black cherry tree on my property splintered about 20 feet up the trunk and fell over in a high wind.  The inside of the trunk was totally rotten with tunnels through the soft bits.
There were beetles in the tunnels.  They were approx. 1/4 inch long.  Did they cause the death of the tree or were they just opportunistically feeding on the dead wood?  Should I be concerned about them destroying my house?
Thanks for your time.
M. Fortin

Darkling Beetle

Dear M. Fortin,
We managed to view and convert your attachment into a jpg.  This appears to be a type of Darkling Beetle.  We do not believe you need to worry about them infesting your home.  We are going to request a more knowledgeable opinion on this matter.

Eric Eaton  confirms.
You are absolutely right, it is some kind of darkling beetle, on the order of a mealworm.  No threat to structures at all.  It is likely scavenging the dead wood, eating fungus, or something else related to the rotting wood.

You are so kind!
Thank you for taking the time!
Were you able to see the picture I sent on your last e-mail?

4 thoughts on “Darkling Beetle”

  1. I found two beetles in my new bathroom, one yesterday and the 2nd one today. They look like they are dead but they move their legs. Are they cause a danger to home or family?

  2. Western Antelope Valley, CA saw an infestation lasting for four weeks recently. 30 dead in my pool daily. 1st night, hundreds. Now, 15 or 20.


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