The loud tapping sound of the Death Watch Beetle is widely believed to foretell a death in the household. In Nevarra, the beetle is prized; households sometimes keep one in a small cage for good luck. However, the Rivaini, consider them to be an extremely ill omen, and kill the beetles on sight.
The strangest reaction to the Death Watch Beetle, however, happened in Val Royeaux in 8:62 Blessed. Upon the death of her husband after a long illness, Lady Ivaline Fernande took to the beetles, so much that she commissioned a dark silken gown patterned after its distinctive appearance, right down to the legs and wings. Her arrival at the royal court in this ensemble sent a stir throughout the empire. Within a week, every dowager in Orlais was wearing beetle brooches, beetle masks, and capes evoking beetle wings.
The sensation finally came to an end when the Widow of Lord Verchin appeared at a ball with live Death Watch Beetles in her hair. One fell onto the emperor while he was greeting Lady Verchin, and His Imperial Majesty's scream could clearly be heard on the outskirts of the city. The horrified emperor declared that never again were the creatures to appear in his sight.