Deathwatch Beetle, a beetle that produces a ticking sound by tapping its jaw on wood during the mating season. The sound has given rise to a superstition that it foretells death. The beetle's body is light brown to black, cylindrical, and 0.04 to 0.35 inches (1 to 9 mm) long.
Deathwatch beetles are destructive pests. The most common species bore into the bark of mature trees, particularly oak and chestnut trees, and also damage structures made of wood from these kinds of trees. The drugstore beetle feeds on drugs, spices, and grains. The cigarette beetle feeds on tobacco, pet foods, and such condiments as cloves and mustard.
Deathwatch beetles belong to the family Anobiidae of the order Coleoptera. The most common species are Xestobium rufovillosum and Anobium punctatum. The drugstore beetle is Stegobium paniceum; cigarette beetle, Lasioderma serricorne.