Pestgon FactSheet
“ If they fly they die…if they crawl they fall”

GROUND BEETLES (coleoptera / carabidae)


Description:
Ground beetles are referred to as "Carabids". They range from 1/16 to 1-3/8 inches long. They appear somewhat flattened and generally elongate, with threadlike antennae and hard wing covers that meet in a straight line down the center of the back. The wing covers have numerous parallel ridges running lengthwise. Ground beetles make up one of the largest groups of beetles in North America. There are more than 2200 species. With some variation in their body shape and coloring, most are shiny and black.

Biology:
Adults are active at night and tend to hide under rocks and moist debris during the day. They will run when exposed. They forage at night and feed on insects and their larvae. Likely targets include caterpillars, root maggots, snails, and other soft-bodied insects.

Economic Impact:
Ground beetles are very common "outdoor" insects that occasionally become pests by wandering into buildings by mistake. They do not damage structures or furnishings and are harmless to people and pets. They are actually beneficial because they feed on insect larvae. However, large numbers are occasionally present and they become more annoying than beneficial. Pestgon finds that their presence in commercial buildings is therefore more of an image problem requiring their control and removal.

Management Methods:
Beetles may enter into structures by crawling through small openings or under doors. They prefer the outdoors and if left inside will die in a short time. Since ground beetles are beneficial insects, harsh pest control methods are usually not necessary. However, if they are creating a nuisance be getting inside, Pestgon recommends the removal of leaves, mulch and debris around the perimeter of the buildings. This will usually be sufficient. Caulking and weather-stripping entry points will eliminate their getting in to a building. Spot treating with baits labeled for such application may be necessary to control extremely high populations from becoming a nuisance.