Ground Beetles

Ground Beetle illustration
Ground Beetle illustration
A ground beetle on wood
A male black ground beetle
A ground beetle grub.
Top view of a ground beetle
A beetles mandibles.

Ground beetles comprise one of the largest, most common beetle groups in North America. Thousands of species, including both native and nonnative ground beetles, are found throughout the United States. As their common name implies, adult ground beetles spend most of their time at ground level, feeding on seeds and insects. Their larvae feed on insects in soil. Ground beetles don't damage lawn grasses or garden plants, however, they become nuisances during mid to late summer when they flock around foundations and invade homes.

Ground Beetle Identification: Ground beetle appearance varies significantly depending on the species. The most common types are black or dark brown, but colors include metallic bronze, iridescent green, spotted brown and black, black edged in blue, or other options. Their shells may be shiny or dull, but their hard wing covers often bear distinctive lengthwise grooves or dotted ridges. Adults vary in length from 1/8 inch to more than 1 1/2 inches, including their relatively small heads and prominent jaws. Common ground beetle larvae are dark, segmented and typically around 3/4 inch in length.

Signs/Damage of Ground Beetles: The first clues to ground beetle problems are beetles inside your home or large numbers around your foundation. Active at night, ground beetles are often mistaken for cockroaches, due to their dark color and fast movement when discovered. Indoors, they move along room perimeters and congregate in damp, dark places. Outdoors, they spend days hidden under rocks, mulch and leaf debris. At night, they gather around outdoor lighting and brightly lit windows.

How to Control Ground Beetles: Effective ground beetle control calls for a protective barrier that prevents these pests from entering your home. Seal foundation cracks or crevices and caulk gaps around windows or doors. GardenTech® brand offers several highly effective products to treat your home's perimeter, kill ground beetles by contact, and keep protecting for up to three months:

  • Sevin® Insect Killer Granules, applied with a regular lawn spreader, works above and below the soil line. Apply the ready-to-use granules in a 5- to 10-foot band around your home's foundation. Then water the area immediately to release the product's active ingredients.
  • Sevin® Insect Killer Concentrate, used with a pump-style sprayer, provides a simple, economical way to treat soil and vegetation and create a 5- to 10-foot barrier of protection. This non-staining formula also treats your home's foundation up to a maximum height of 3 feet.
  • Sevin® Insect Killer Ready to Spray attaches to a common garden hose to automatically mix and measure as you spray. This non-staining formula treats soil and vegetation around your home, and it treats your foundation up to a height of 3 feet.

Tip: Outdoor lights draw ground beetles at night. Switch to yellow light bulbs, which beetles find less attractive, to minimize beetles around your home.

Always read product labels and follow the instructions carefully.

GardenTech is a registered trademark of Gulfstream Home and Garden, Inc.

Sevin is a registered trademark of Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc.

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