What Do Carabid Ground Beetles Look Like?
Carabid ground beetles are a large family of insects with flat, oblong bodies between one-eighth inch and one and one-quarter inches long. Most species are dark brown or glossy black, though some are metallic green or blue. While many carabid beetles have wings, they rarely use them, opting instead to hunt for food at ground level with their large mandibles.
Ground beetle larvae live entirely underground in loose soil. Like adult carabid beetles, they have six legs and visible mouthparts. Aside from these features, adult beetles and larvae look almost nothing alike. Larvae are long and slender with segmented bodies and small pincers on their backsides.
How Can I Tell if I Have a Carabid Ground Beetle Problem?
A few species of carabid ground beetles are active during the day, though many are nocturnal. Exterior lights attract these pests to buildings, so you’re likely to spot carabid beetles around your home or business at night. A few signs of infestation include:
- Seeing Ground Beetles – Spotting multiple pests is the most common way to know you have a beetle issue.
- Smelling a Strong Odor – Some types of carabid ground beetle secrete a foul-smelling scent when threatened.
How Do Carabid Ground Beetles Get Inside Homes and Businesses?
Ground beetles prefer living outside, but they may enter buildings while searching for food. Small cracks in foundations and loose windows make it easy for them to get inside. Houses or factories with dirt floor basements attract a host of insects that carabid beetles feed on, increasing your chances of infestation.
Businesses with lighted signs such as restaurants, hotels, and grocery stores appeal to ground beetles as well. The pests may find their way into well-lit warehouses through open loading docks, especially those near dumpsters and other food sources.
Are Carabid Ground Beetles Dangerous?
Although carabid ground beetles are an unpleasant sight, they are beneficial around the yard. These insects eat the seeds of many unwanted plants, keeping weeds from overtaking flowerbeds and gardens. They also prey on pest species like slugs and aphids. These beetles do not spread disease and rarely bite people.
However, the pests may be harmful to a business. If a restaurant or hotel patron sees a carabid ground beetle, they could leave a bad review. In addition, infestations may violate health and safety codes for grocery stores, warehouses, and other companies in the food industry.
How Can I Prevent Carabid Ground Beetle Infestations?
These pests are helpful outside but become an issue indoors. You can avoid attracting beetles by turning off exterior lights or using yellow fluorescent bulbs. Installing door sweeps and repairing gaps around windows can also help keep the insects away. If you have a ground beetle problem, contact Waltham Pest Services for expert control services.