If you have ever turned over a rock or piece of wood on the ground, you may have seen dark beetles from 1/4 to 1 inch long or more crawl away. Some of them are solid black while other are brown or iridescent green in color. Still others are blue or purple.

All of these insects have thin heads that are narrower than their body segment (thorax). They have strong jaws and make their living preying on other insects or, in some cases, slugs and are generally considered beneficial. Ground beetles rarely fly but can scurry around quickly.

About the only reason to be concerned about ground beetles is on the rare occasion when their numbers build until they start moving into houses or other places where they are not wanted. The key to correcting the situation is to try to remove their hiding places and to help the area dry out. Seal cracks and crevice in the structure near ground level to keep them out.

Again, in the very rare case where ground beetles need to be controlled and changing the environment does not work, there are soil borne insect pesticides that may be labeled for them. Be sure to follow the label instructions.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.

Types of Insects

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