Ground Beetles Can Become Indoor Pests

Q. We often get these beetles in our house…at least I think they’re beetles. They’re black and look kind of like a cockroach and they run really fast. I see them outside too, on our front porch. Do you know where they’re coming from?

A. Can’t say for sure without seeing a specimen but I think you might be talking about ground beetles. They do have long antennae and long legs like cockroaches. They’re about the size of cockroaches. They do run fast. And ground beetles are attracted to lights so it makes sense that you are seeing them on your porch. They are probably then getting inside through openings around doors and windows.

Ground beetles come in lots of shapes and sizes, but most are between 1/2-inch and 1-1/2 inches long and are shiny black with ridged wing covers. Some have metallic blue/green or reddish markings. Some can fly. Ground beetles are beneficial insects; both adults and larvae feed on other insects, especially insect larvae. Ground beetles are common next to building foundations where they spend the day hidden in loose soil, or under stones, wood, leaves, or debris. At night they come out to feed on insects. The wormlike larvae spend their time in soil or hidden and are usually not seen.

Adult beetles become a nuisance when they are attracted to outside lights. They then find their way indoors looking for places to hide during the day. They will also enter buildings if outside food sources become scarce or if there are changes in outdoor moisture levels. They usually don’t survive long indoors, they don’t do any damage to household furnishings, and they don’t bite. Some give off a foul odor if handled or threatened.

The best control for ground beetles is prevention: eliminating outdoor hiding places around the foundation like wood and stone piles and heavy mulch; reducing or changing the outdoor lights that attract them; and sealing openings around windows and installing sweeps under doors that let them in. Our trained pest control technicians at Colonial can pest-proof your home to keep ground beetles and other outside pests out. We also offer a semi-annual, outside perimeter treatment that puts a barrier around your home to keep invading insects from getting in. Call us today to schedule your service.

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    1. I came home from a friends house and slept in my bed and when I woke up I had insect bites all up and down my arms and they spread even more when they are scratched. I went to sleep the next night and I felt something crawling on me and jumped up and quickly found a ground beetle on my bed. The beetle has bitten me repeatedly and I am having to go to the doctor in the morning. Ground beetles do harm humans. Why would a ground beetle be in my bed?

    2. I had the same exact problem. I just found one in my bed with bites all on my leg. Any idea why I found it here and why it bit me repeatedly?

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