GROUND BEETLES (coleoptera / carabidae)
Ground beetles are referred to as "Carabids". They range from 1/16 to 1-3/8 inches long and appear somewhat flattened and generally elongated, with thread-like 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 all with some variation in their body shape and coloring, most are shiny and black, with some varieties being irridecent and quite colorful.
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 other insects and their larvae like caterpillars, root maggots, snails, and other soft-bodied insects.
Ground beetles are very common 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. However, if large numbers are present they can become more annoying than beneficial.
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. Ground beetles are seen as beneficial insects, so harsh pest control methods are usually not necessary. However, if large numbers are getting inside, door sweeps, removal of leaves, mulch and debris around the perimeter of the buildings may be recommended. Spot treating with baits labeled for such application may be necessary to control extremely high populations from becoming a nuisance.