1827 Democrat (Huntsville AL) [8 June 4]/5, I was present when Mr. John Smith had up one of his negroes as he said for poisoning his horses; the negro appeared to be alarmed, and said he gave the horse a best bug. 1847 (1848) Furber 12 Mths. Volunteer 144 TN, They [=centipedes] are mingled in color . . their jaws, or hooks, with which they bite, are, in appearance, like those of a beetle or “bess-bug,” but large, strong and sharp. 1874 Trammell Ça Ira 85 GA, Nay, it may even come to this, . . that you never heard of a show in all your life, nor ever saw anything that you thought more wonderful than a betsy-bug or a snapjack. 1883 Youth’s Companion 56.527 Sth [Black], Dat ghos’ was de bigges’ an’ mos’ powerfullest ‘Bessy Bug’ ebber I see! 1892 Smith Farm & Fireside 314 GA, He had every curious bug he could find. Betty bugs and June bugs and tumble bugs, and the devil’s riding horse, and the devil’s darning needle, and a green snake, and a thousandleg, and a lot of herbs. 1893 Californian Illustr. Mag. 4.787 sAppalachians, He mus’ be crazyer ’n er betsey bug. 1910 Blatchley Coleoptera IN 908, This well-known species, commonly known as the “horn” or “bess-beetle,” occurs abundantly throughout the State. 1910 (1911) Harris Eve’s Husband 234 TN, A young congressman has to . . encourage them [=his constituents] to ask for little things like sample betty-bugs to eat other bugs, garden seed. . . The Government furnishes the betty-bugs. 1931 Randolph Ozarks 101, The approved treatment for earache is to prick a “betsy-bug” with a pin, and put a drop of its blood in the ear. 1937 (1977) Hurston Their Eyes 90 FL [Black], Fifteen dollars? I god you’se as crazy as uh betsy bug! Five dollars. 1944 Harper’s Mag. 188.373/2 IA, He always lived over the crick from us. . . Crazy as a betsey bug most of the time. 1946 PADS 6.5 eNC (as of 1900–10), Bessie bug. . . A handsome black bug whose habitat is rotten wood. It is about one inch long. To children it seems to say “Bessie” when touched with a blade of grass. . . Common among children. c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Betty (or Betsy) bug—any large beetle. “Jimmy caught a Betsy bug and put it down my back.” 1964 Borror–DeLong Intro. Insects 382, These beetles are called by a variety of names—bessbugs, betsy-beetles [etc.]. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. R5) Inf AR42, Betsy bug; (Qu. R30, . . Kinds of beetles; not asked in early QRs) Infs KY28, 47, Bess bug; AR5, 48, 51, KY34, Bessy bug; AR48, 52, GA84, KY28, LA2, 10, 15, SC46, TN6, Betsy bug. 1967 DARE FW Addit wNC, Crazy as a bess bug. c1974 Jones Ozark Hill Boy 42 AR (as of c1930), I personally have been subjected to . . besse bug blood for earache. 1981 Broaddus Coll. ceKY, Bess bug. 2009 Aiken Std. (SC) 18 Mar sec C 2/1, One of the things I put on the list was a bessie bug. It took him roughly eight seconds to produce one. 2014 Indiana Gaz. (PA) 14 Nov 9/3, Seventh-grade life science students at Purchase Line High School created a lab in which the Bess bug pulled a washer.