Ground Beetle


Actual Size: 1/4″ to 2″ long.

Characteristics: Dark black or brown, slight flat and elongated


  • Sometimes confused with cockroaches as they are both dark and shiny.
  • Ground beetles have three pairs of legs, two pairs of wings, and prominent mandibles.
  • When exposed, ground beetles move quickly to find shelter but rarely fly.
  • Ground beetles are short lived indoors and do not reproduce inside structures.


Ground beetles make up one of the largest groups of beetles in North America, with more than 2600 species. Most ground beetles are shiny, black or brown and iridescent, and are sometimes confused with cockroaches. Both are dark in color and move quickly, however, ground beetles are harmless, while cockroaches may create larger issues. Ground beetles are very common “outdoor” insects that occasionally become pests by wandering into houses and buildings by mistake.

With more than 2,600 species around the world, Ground beetles are typically found in or on the surface of a soil-covered ground. Some species are known to help control the spreading of weeds, making them seen as a beneficial insect. However, they can also overrun a building or feed on important crop seeds, such as corn.

Ground Beetle Habitat

Ground beetles are commonly found outdoors under objects such as wood, logs, rock and other debris on the ground. During the summer, in many parts of the country, ground beetles appear in tremendous numbers. They feed mostly at night, and may be attracted to porch and other exterior lights. Ground beetles can become an annoyance by crawling into homes and buildings through small cracks or openings, or through open doorways and windows. Once inside, they can be found in hidden, damp areas in the basement or under boxes or other objects on the floor.

Ground Beetle Behaviors, Threats or Dangers

Ground beetles do not damage household structures or furniture and are harmless to people and pets. When exposed, ground beetles move quickly to find shelter but rarely fly. Outdoors, they are actually considered beneficial because they feed on insect larvae. However, during summer, ground beetle infestations inside a home or commercial building can be overwhelming for any property owner. Although certain species have been known to release odorous secretions when threatened, none will bite or attack humans.

Ground Beetle Prevention

To control ground beetles around the home, the most practical solution is to vacuum, sweep or pick up and discard beetles as they appear. Caulk and seal any foundation or siding cracks and openings through which beetles can enter. Stack firewood away from home and remove boards, stones and other debris from the yard. Minimize the use of lighting immediately next to the structure or switch the lights from bright white to yellow to minimize attracting ground beetles.