Do Longhorned Beetles Bite?

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Longhorn beetles are a unique family of beetles that love to reside inside dead wood and trees. These beetles have mandibles and can bite a human if they are mishandled.

The Long-horned beetles are a part of a large family called Cerambycidae. Their larvae love hollowing out healthy trees from the inside. 

But that’s not where their skills end. These beetles are renowned for their biting abilities! Let’s find out more about the longhorn beetles or longicorns and their bites. 

Do Longhorned Beetles Bite

What Are They?

Over 20,000 species of Cerambycids are known and described. Amongst these, the longhorned beetles are most famous for their extremely long antennae. 

The larger-sized longhorned beetles can have an antenna that is sometimes three times the length of their body! 

These types of beetles are also known for their uniquely placed antennal sockets. Their antennal sockets can be found on the lower tubercles of their face. 

Some beetles with long tubercles lack this feature, while others with short antennae still have them. 

Longhorned beetles come in different sizes, shapes, colorations, and structures. Perhaps the most infamous one is the Asian Longhorned Beetle, which is a big menace to hardwood trees.

Do They Bite? 

Yes, longhorn beetles can bite. Technically, beetles have chewing mouthparts (to devour their food) that they can use to munch on your skin as well. 

Some species of beetles have completely developed jaws or mandibles to devour their prey. 

Other adult beetles use these mouthparts to protect themselves from predators, while still others, like the longhorns, use them just to consume wood. 

The longhorned beetles can come into your house if not managed. 

However, you don’t have to be worried about drywood furniture in your home. These beetles cannot sink their mandibles in dried firewood. 

They cannot attack your furniture, but if you are not careful, they will bite human skin. Their painful bites are not harmful in the long term but will leave you writhing for a day or two. 

Do Longhorned Beetles Bite

Are They Poisonous?

Most beetles don’t bite, and the ones that do, such as the longhorns, are not poisonous. The bite of the longhorned beetle is fortunately not poisonous. 

But one might have an allergic reaction to the bite. In such cases, you must rush to your nearest hospital or seek immediate medical help. 

There is one species: the Onychocherus albitarsis in the beetle family. This little bug is not a beetle to be fiddled with. 

It is a rare species that is renowned for being the only venomous beetle with a sting on its antennae. 

Are They Dangerous? 

These beetles do not pose any direct threats to humans. 

Instead, they are dangerous to the trees around them. The Asian longhorned beetle (sporting a white spot) and its larvae (roundheaded borers) are experts at it. 

The larvae cause extensive damage to untreated lumber or living trees by boring into them. (The old-house borer, or Hylotrupes bajulus on the other hand, can bore into houses). 

The ALB, thankfully, is a bit of an outlier in its family since it feeds on live trees. 

Cerambycids are, infact, famous because their habit of munching on dead or dying wood makes them a precious recycler of nutrients.

They also help remove pests of lumber at the same time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if a longhorn beetle bites you

Only some types of beetles will bite you, out of which longhorn is one such. If it bites you, it will only cause you to pain for a few days, which will gradually subside after that. 
However, in case you are allergic to the bites, you should seek immediate medical help. Allergic reactions can cause heart palpitations and even lead to anaphylactic shocks in such cases.

Can longhorn beetles sting?

Longhorn beetles do not have a stinger. Stingers are usually only found on bees and wasps. Beetles do have mouthparts, however, which they can use to bite.
Not all longhorn beetles bite. Some specific species of longhorn beetles can use their mouths to bite. However, recently in Peru, there has been a discovery of a long-horned beetle that can sting you. 

What happens if you get bitten by a beetle?

If you got bitten by a beetle that isn’t venomous, you wouldn’t have to worry. The pain will gradually subside after two days. 
But if the beetle is poisonous (there is only one known such case), it will cause a blister. You should get the blister checked by a medical practitioner. 

What kind of beetles bite humans?

Beetles that bite humans or are a danger to humans are rare. Blister beetles, stag beetles, and longhorned beetles can bite humans. 
The first beetle is famous for its ability to cause blisters on the stung area (hence the name), while the female stag beetle can also bite you. 
The third type of beetle has brown wing covers and can cause you pain for at least two days. 

Wrap Up 

Beetles like the Asian longhorned beetle and Onychocherus albitarsis are dangerous to humans, but thankfully they are rare. 

The Asian longhorned beetle is a threat to forests of North America, while Onychocherus albitarsis is one of the rare beetles that uses its antennae to sting, with venom inside it. 

Billions of dollars will have to be spent if the Asian longhorn beetle is able to infest our hardwood forests, which is why a lot of effort is being put into stopping this menace.

For the time being, staying away from these insects and informing the authorities is probably a good idea. 

Thank you for reading!


  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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