Summer is nearly over, and you’re suddenly noticing ground beetles everywhere in your home, particularly in your basement and under newspapers, boxes, and other objects on the floor. What’s going on? And, more importantly, how do you get rid of them?
First off, you’re probably seeing ground beetles right now because this is the time of year that they’re most likely to go into homes, commercial buildings, and other structures. They’re drawn to light and will often group around a light source such as a window or overhead door light before going inside. The good news is that black ground beetles don’t breed indoors, so you’re not facing a growing infestation, but no one likes sharing their home or business with large black insects. The sooner you get them out, the better. With Action Pest, you can eliminate these bugs from your home and prevent them from returning. Our blog discusses what a ground beetle is, how to identify one, and how to keep them out after a professional pest control company does its work.
Ground Beetle Identification
Also known as black beetles, ground beetles are large insects with flat, oblong bodies. Many species are dark brown or glossy black, but some are metallic green or even blue. In southern Ontario, 59 species of ground beetles have been identified, with Amara aenea, Harpalus affinis, and Pterostichus melanarius being the most common. Ontario ground beetle populations are commonly found in fruit tree orchards and other agricultural locations.
Ground beetle larvae live underground in loose soil. Their six legs and visible mouthparts are similar to those of adult beetles. Unlike adults, however, black ground beetle larvae have segmented bodies and short pincers on their backs.
How Can You Tell if You Have a Ground Beetle Problem?
Most ground beetles are nocturnal, though some are active during the day. At night, you’re likely to see ground beetles around your home or business because exterior lights attract them to buildings. Here are a few signs of infestation:
- Seeing Ground Beetles Indoors: When you see several beetles throughout the property or gathered near the foundation outside, it’s almost guaranteed that you have an infestation.
Strong Odour: When threatened, some ground beetles release a foul odor.
How Do Ground Beetles Get Inside?
Ground beetles spend most of their time hiding under rocks, mulch, and leaf debris outdoors. During the night, they gather around outdoor lighting as well as brightly lit windows, and may go into buildings in search of food. Foundation cracks and loose windows make it easy for them to gain access. A dirt floor basement in particular attracts a variety of insects that beetles feed on, increasing the likelihood of infestation.
Ground beetles also flock to businesses with lighted signs, such as hotels, groceries, and restaurants. A well-lit warehouse may also be infested by beetles that invade through open loading docks, especially those near food sources like dumpsters and trash cans.
Are Beetles Dangerous?
Not really. In spite of their unpleasant appearance, ground beetles have many benefits around the yard. They control weed growth in gardens and flowerbeds by eating seeds from unwanted plants. Additionally, they prey on pest species like slugs and aphids. Unlike some pests, ground beetles are not disease-carriers and rarely bite people.
A business may, however, suffer from the effects of the beetles. Patrons could leave a bad review if they see a ground beetle in a restaurant or hotel, especially since a brown ground beetle looks a lot like a cockroach. Additionally, infestations may violate health and safety codes for food-related businesses.
How to Get Rid of Ground Beetles in Your House
Outside, these pests are beneficial, but indoors they become a problem, so it’s recommended that you take steps to avoid attracting them and letting them inside. Using yellow fluorescent bulbs or turning off exterior lights can prevent beetles from being attracted to your home. If they do approach, you can deter entry by installing door sweeps and repairing gaps around windows.
Sometimes, infestations occur despite your best efforts. If you notice a ground beetle in the house there are bound to be more somewhere else, so nip the problem in the bud by contacting a reputable Hamilton pest control company for extermination services.
Are Ground Beetles in Your House?
Although ground beetles are not dangerous and don’t pose an actual health hazard like some pests, no one wants to have any kind of infestation in their home or business. As a leading pest control company, Action Pest Control has dealt with ground beetle infestations in homes and businesses for over 40 years and uses effective methods that don’t pose a risk to your family or pets. We offer thorough and affordable extermination services in and around Hamilton, Burlington, and Oakville, so if ground beetles decide to call your house a home, contact us any time.