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 North 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.

Because there are many different types of beetles in North Carolina, they can be difficult to distinguish, however our common beetle species can help with this.

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.

Why do Ground Beetles Come into Your House?

Ground Beetles may enter homes accidentally while searching for prey or shelter, especially during extreme weather conditions like heavy rains or drought. They are attracted to areas with ample food sources, such as other insects, and often wander into homes through cracks and gaps in the foundation or doors.

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, 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.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why Do Ground Beetles Come into the House?

Ground Beetles typically enter houses accidentally while searching for prey or due to changes in outdoor conditions. They might be driven inside by heavy rains, drought, or in search of food. These beetles often enter through small openings, cracks, or gaps in buildings.

Why Are Ground Beetles Good for the Garden?

Ground Beetles are beneficial in gardens due to their predatory nature. They feed on a variety of garden pests, including slugs, snails, cutworms, aphids, and caterpillars, helping to naturally control these populations without the need for chemical pesticides.

How Do I Attract Ground Beetles to My Garden?

To attract Ground Beetles to your garden, create a habitat they prefer. This includes having areas with moist soil, mulch, and leaving some leaf litter or logs where they can find shelter. Avoiding broad-spectrum pesticides will also help maintain a healthy population of these beneficial beetles.

What is the Most Common Ground Beetle?

One of the most common and widely recognized Ground Beetles is the genus Carabus. These beetles are known for their large size, metallic sheen, and voracious appetite for garden pests. Their presence is often a sign of a healthy, balanced garden ecosystem.