Belonging to the Carabidae family, there are more than 40,000 species of ground beetles that you can find all over the world. There are several variations in their physical characteristics depending on their species. Most of the ground beetles, however, have a black and shiny body. More often than not, its body will be flat and punctures can appear on the back, all the way to its wing cover. The average length is 1/16 to 1 inch. Although they have wings, they do not fly, and hence, the name ground beetle.
Ground Beetle’s Habitat
The ground beetles have diverse habitats and you can find them around the world. As long as they have food, they will be able to survive. Most of these beetles, however, are in the wild. You can see them in the forest, deserts, mountains, and even in coastal regions. In the garden, they can live under plant debris, bark of trees, rocks, and logs, among others. Most of them are active at night in search of their prey. It is also common for ground beetles to live indoors, especially in places that are damp and often undisturbed.
Identifying Ground Beetle’s Damage
Ground beetles are popular as beneficial insects. A lot of home gardeners would know that they are good to have in the garden because they can kill some of the most common pests, such as aphids, worms, maggots, caterpillars, and slugs. They are carnivores, and hence, they will not eat plants.
Results of Infestation
Ground beetles can be annoying, but they will not cause direct harm to plants and humans. As natural predators, they can eat other beneficial insects that could otherwise protect the plants. In most instances, they become a problem only when they go indoors and when they survive in large numbers. Although they will not bite, they can be annoying to see. They will not cause a reduction in crop yield or profit loss since they will not damage plants.
How to Get Rid of Ground Beetles
Natural and Organic Solutions
Thinking of the best solutions for ground beetles? Below are some of the most promising methods that you might want to consider:
- If the problem is the infestation of ground beetles indoors, one of the best things to do is to block all potential entryways. If there are small openings or crevices, seal and cover them. By doing this, ground beetles from the outdoors will not end up being uninvited guests inside the house.
- Outdoors, on the other hand garden sanitation will do the trick. If the surroundings are cleaner, it will be less attractive to ground beetles. If you have firewood, stack them in a place that ground beetles will not find. Remove stones and logs from the yard as well since these are places where the ground beetles can hide.
- At night, as much as possible, turn off the lights, especially in patios, driveways, or gardens. Ground beetles are attracted to lights. They become more active at night in areas that are lit. By removing the light, their activity can be lesser.
- If you have tall grass or weeds at home, regular trimming is also a must. As they grow taller, they will help to hide ground beetles, providing them with a suitable shelter.
- For the small population of ground beetle, manual removal is possible, especially if they are indoors. You can pick them by hand or you can also use a vacuum cleaner to take them out of the surface. Make sure to throw them far away or just dunk the ground beetles in a bucket of soapy water.
- They can also accumulate in the fabrics or clothes. With this, practice a first-in-first-out approach for your clothes. Clean the cabinet regularly to be sure that ground beetles are not present. The same thing holds true in the case of food that you keep in the kitchen cabinet.
If the natural solutions do not prove to be effective, this is the only time that you have to consider chemical control. As much as possible, stay away from this method. Using chemicals can be risky because they contain toxic ingredients. They can harm not only your target but even other beneficial pests in the garden.
Among others, deltamethrin is one of the most common active ingredients in the chemicals for the treatment for ground beetles. One product that uses this ingredient is D-Force. Although this will quickly kill the ground beetle, be careful in its use as it will emit a foul odor. Other active ingredients in insecticides for the treatment of ground beetles include cyfluthrin, permethrin, and bifenthrin. To yield the highest level of effectiveness, it will help to consult with professionals so be sure of the safe administration of the chemicals.