Ground Beetle

Common Black Ground Beetles usually grow to the length of 1/2 to 5/8 inches.  They have an extremely hard exoskeleton that is made up of many different small plates that allow the beetle to be protected while still maintaining flexibility.  Like all insects the Common Black Ground Beetle has three different sections which are the head, thorax, and abdomen.  These beetles have a distinctively flat head and large compound eyes.  The antennae are used as a sense of smell and also for the beetles to feel the surrounding environment.  The antennae of this beetle are mostly black like the rest of their bodies but have a tint of red or brown.  The legs of the Ground Beetle have adapted to be long in order to run at higher speeds away from predators.  Their legs are also widened and have spines for more efficient digging.  As with the antennae, the legs have a tint of red.  The abdomen is covered by the hard-shelled wing covers that have ridges running along them. The body of the Common Black Ground Beetle is a metallic black with red tints in some spots.

Common Black Ground Beetles are found almost everywhere.  During the day they hide underneath rotted logs, stones, and also piles of leaves.  They inhabit woods and fields around the world.  They are most often found in gardens hunting down harmful pests.  Their preferred time to hunt is at night because they are nocturnal insects. The habitat these beetles live in is perfect for them because the food source is abundant.  The Common Black Ground Beetle generally eats grubs, worms, maggots, and many other soft-bodied insects.  They are mainly carnivorous and feed on mostly other insects.  The feeding habits of this beetle are particularly beneficial to gardeners around the world.  They feed on many insects that can be harmful to gardens or to homeowners such as cutworms, fly maggots, caterpillars, aphids, weevils, slugs, and snails.  The beetles habitat makes it easy for them to find prey, for the insects they eat are abundant in almost every environment.  These beetles can not fly to hunt their prey, however they sometimes climb trees and shrubs to find prey to hunt.  The Common Black Ground Beetles larvae are predatory like the matured beetles, they feed on worms and other insects that live beneath the soil.

Prevention Tips

Use caulking , putty and weather stripping around doors, windows, pipes and other entry sites, especially at the ground level.

Reduce outdoor lighting that attracts beetles around doors and windows .

Reduce attractiveness of the landscape and breeding/hiding sites.

Eliminate damp, moist conditions near the house such as around faucets and air-conditioning units.

Channel water from rain gutters and downspouts away from the house foundation.

Consider removing landscape mulch (wood chips, gravel, etc.) from against the house.