The ground beetle family is made up of about 3,000 species worldwide of which 2,200 species occur in North America. Ground beetles are often black in color and have small heads and large bodies with hard wings. Cockroaches look similar but differ because they either have no wings or soft wings. Ground beetles usually reside outdoors and are found in the cracks of rotting wood or rocks.
Remove decaying wood and calk all crevices on the exterior of the house. Because black ground beetles prefer residing outdoors they often do not become an indoor pest. The best way to discourage the beetle from moving indoors is to remove decaying wood from near the home and calking all cracks and crevices in the house they may crawl through.
Beetles are attracted by light so limiting bright lights around the house will cut down on the number of insects trying to get indoors.
Introduce toads, shrews and birds to the natural environment. These animals feed on black ground beetles. By increasing habitat for these species a number of ground beetles can be reduced.
Use insecticides according to label directions. Pyrethrins and bendiocarb type pesticides can be used indoors, according to Ohio State University. Outdoors chlorpyrifos and pyrethroids are used. Many of the chemical insecticides are available only through licensed applicators. Before using any insecticide read and follow label directions.
Black ground beetles are not harmful to humans and are a predator upon several species of insects that are. Before any extermination efforts are made it is advisable to make sure the harmless ground beetle is not being mistaken for a harmful insect such as the cockroach, carpet beetles or woodboring beetles that can do damage to buildings.
Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.