Ground Beetle

  • Actual Size: 1.5 to 25 mm

    Characteristics: Dark black or brown, slightly flat and elongated

    Legs: 6

    Antennae: Yes

    Wings: 2 pairs, but unable to fly

    Habitat: Live and breed in the soil, often under rocks, logs, leaves, and more.


    • Sometimes confused with cockroaches as they are both dark and shiny.
    • 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 in South Carolina

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.

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 are attracted to porch lights 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. If you are dealing with a ground beetle infestation, always contact your local beetle exterminators.

Need help with Ground Beetle control?

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