Ground Beetle Facts
Ground beetles are one of the largest groups of beetles found in North America, with over 2,200 species there alone, most of which were introduced from Europe. While there are countless varieties, many of these beetles look and act similarly. A notable ground beetle nuisance is the common black ground beetle.
Ground Beetle Identification
The black ground beetle can grow to be about a half-inch long. It’s body is all black with some dark reddish-brown coloring on its legs and antennae. The black ground beetle also has ridges that run lengthwise across the sides of its body.
Other ground beetle types vary slightly in shape and size, but they resemble one another in major aspects. For instance, the carabus is mostly black with a red back and long legs.
Types of Ground Beetles
- Common black ground beetle
- Tiger beetle
- Violin beetle
- Ant nest beetle
Ground Beetle Bites
Most ground beetles do not bite people. Some species of ground beetles, like scarites quadriceps, do have large mandibles that might be able to pinch your skin, but this pinch is not very painful and is essentially harmless.
Ground Beetle Infestation
These beetles are often found outdoors under leaves, logs, and stones, but can cause problems indoors. Ground beetles love moisture and are commonly spotted in woods, fields, and gardens. The ground beetle mates in late summer, then the females lay their eggs in soil. Eggs hatch during the winter and the young remain in the ground until spring. The larvae then turn into pupae and reach full maturity once the summer months come around. Ground beetles are predators that feast on caterpillars, fly maggots, aphids, slugs, and even other beetles. Any insect or worm with a soft body is susceptible to being the ground beetle’s next meal.
This variety of beetle does not fly but will climb trees, shrubbery, and other plants when looking for prey. While the ground beetle is at the top of the food chain in some instances, it is not invincible; toads, birds, snakes, shrews, and birds like to eat this beetle. Ground beetles normally appear at night, as they are primarily nocturnal, but they are also commonly attracted in large numbers to the lights on the outside of buildings. This is one way that ground beetles may unintentionally sneak inside your home. This can become irritating for homeowners.
When ground beetles are disturbed, they will run rapidly and try to escape. And, generally, the ground beetle is considered a beneficial insect. While it can be a nuisance when they occur in large numbers, most species will not cause harm that requires medical attention, aside from some that can bite. In fact, most species prey upon other insects that are much more harmful to ecosystems. The violin beetle is practically grayed camoflouge, and wide and round at the bottom, with a tiny, skinny head.
Ground Beetles in the Home & Apartment
Ground beetles are often attracted by the exterior lighting of houses and get inside your home during their quest to reach the light. This can be frustrating if there is a large number of ground beetle getting into your home. Other than being a nuisance, ground beetles are harmless and will not cause structural damage.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ground Beetles
What do ground beetles eat?
Being predators, ground beetle feast on caterpillars, fly maggots, aphids, slugs, and even other beetles. Any insect or worm with a soft body is susceptible to being the ground beetle’s next meal, including many pests listed in our Pest Library that fit that criteria.
How can you control a ground beetle infestation?
If ground beetles are finding their way into places where you’d rather not see them, it is best to move or remove their hiding spots. Shift the locations of logs, stones, and firewood to another location where they will not be as big of a nuisance. To prevent them from getting inside your home or other structures, seal and weather-proof any potential entry points like cracks or openings in foundations. If they are found indoors, they can be vacuumed and discarded. These beetles prefer light, so moving any lighting or changing white lights to yellow lights may help reduce their presence.
Should I hire a professional to help me manage a ground beetle infestation?
A pest management professional has the education, equipment and skills necessary to effectively address an ground beetle problem. Finding and treating the ground beetles can be challenging, especially if they are spread throughout your yard. A pest management professional provides their expertise to identify the pest problem and determine the best possible solution to resolve the ground beetle infestation.
If you fear that you are dealing with a ground beetle infestation, contact us today for your cost-free inspection.