Jeffrey Hahn, Extension Entomologist
A conspicuous insect has been showing up this summer around people's gardens and homes. A grape pelidnota, Pelidnota punctata, is a type of scarab beetle that looks like a big June beetle. Also known as grapevine beetle, it is a good sized insect measuring about one inch long. It is a rusty orange color with six black spots on its body (two on its thorax and four on its wing covers).
Grape pelidnotas can be found throughout the late spring and summer. Like their name suggests, the adults feed on grapes, although they typically do not cause much damage (just handpick them if they become numerous). The larvae are associated with rotting hardwood tree logs and stumps. The adults are attracted to lights so you can find one around your home even if you don't have grapes. Although they might look imposing, grape pelidnotas are harmless to people and pets. They are just a curiosity and can be ignored.