Ground Beetles

Order: Coleoptera
Family: Carabidae


There are many species of ground beetles, usually found under debris, in soil cracks or moving quickly along the ground. Most are black or brown and have long legs. Ground beetles are generalist predators with powerful jaws that feed on nearly any insect pest that spends time on the soil surface. Immature stages are distinctly different from adults and more often are found within the top few inches of soil.

Ground Beetle larva

Joseph Berger, 
Ground beetle larva. 

Ground beetle

Joseph Berger, 
Ground beetle.

Quick Facts

  • Beneficial arthropods can prevent or limit pest problems in the yard and garden. 
  • These beneficial ground beetles can be categorized broadly as either insect predators or parasites.
  • Common insect parasitoids include flies and small wasps. 
  • When insecticides are needed, choose ones that are selective and less likely to harm beneficial insects and mites.