Deathwatch Beetle

This tiny insect makes a tapping noise when boring into wood.


There are records from the 17th century England telling of the fear people felt for the beetle. In folklore from Britain, Europe, and the United States the sound of the death beetle tapping was a death omen. There are various beliefs depending on the region too some areas believe only three taps counted as a death omen.

Image from Google search

3 thoughts on “Deathwatch Beetle

  1. I have tapping beetles all over my yard. Are they the same things? I kind of like them. The provide percussion to the frogs and screech owls.

    • mari wells says:

      I believe they are and as long as they stay outside you should be safe. Once they start tapping instead, and get into the woodwork is when you need to worry.
      I’d love to hear Deathbeetles and frogs sing, and Screechers join in. I’d never leave.

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