A recent post in the New Paltz Community Facebook Group got people talking about an "alien-like" bug spotted near one New Paltz resident's home. So, what is this wacky-looking bug and is it worth worrying about?

"Alien-Like" Beetle in New York

Pam Mcclellan Wright
Pam Mcclellan Wright
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This little guy is known as a click beetle. Some other names they go by include snapping beetles or skipjacks.

As you might have guessed, this beetle gets its name because of the clicking sound it makes.

The clicking noise is part of this beetle's defense mechanism. Typically, this guy will play dead, staying completely still. Then it will jolt the top part of its body, making a loud "click" to scare its enemy. You can also sometimes see these beetles jump.

UMDHGIC via YouTube
UMDHGIC via YouTube
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Click beetles are typically around 2.5 inches long so for many, they're not the most pleasant thing to find wandering inside your home. These bugs are nocturnal so most people don't even notice they have a click beetle inside their home until that classic clicking can be heard at night.

Why Are Click Beetles Attracted to Homes

Typically you'll find a click beetle either right outside your doorway, near a porch light, or actually inside of your home.

Click beetles are mainly attracted to light. So, once the sun goes down, any light coming from your house is a beacon to these little guys.

UMDHGIC via YouTube
UMDHGIC via YouTube
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Are Click Beetles Dangerous to Humans?

While these beetles are pretty big and can look pretty scary, they don't pose any harm to humans.

If click beetles eat (apparently some adult ones don't according to WebMD), they typically will snack on plants, so they won't try to drink your blood like a mosquito.

How Do You Get Rid of Click Beetles?

Since click beetles aren't attracted to things like food or humans, the best way to keep them out of your house is to make sure any cracks or windows near light are sealed. Pesticides aren't even really necessary. If they can't find a way in, they won't go out of their way. They'll simply bask in the glow of your window from the outside.

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Gallery Credit: Traci Taylor

 

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