Ground Beetle
Calosoma sycophanta

The Ground Beetle measures about 1-2 inches at full maturity (except the Imported Calosoma, which measures about 3 inches). The color is mostly black or reddish-brown, although some are brightly colored. There are a great number of species, and some are rather ferocious looking, resulting in some very worried homeowners. These shiny beetles are predators on other insects and may enter houses in the spring looking for food. Ground beetles have well developed mandibles, but are not known to bite people. They use their strong mouthparts to devour other insects. The larva stages of ground beetles are also predators on insects, but they live in the grass and soil around the house.

The perferred habitat of a ground beetle is often found in houses in the spring. They may crawl around basements or ground floor rooms or fly to bright lights.

Female ground beetles lay eggs in the soil. Eggs hatch into larvae that feed in or on the soil under debris. Depending on the species, there may be several generations per year that invade the house if food becomes scarce or moisture conditions are unfavorable.

To the homeowner there is no need to worry about these beetles permanently infesting a house. Both adults and larvae are beneficial because they feed on larvae of far more harmful insects. They are beneficial insects to have around, and an important part of the natural animal population in turf, pasture, and crop land. Some ground beetles are an important natural control of some insect pests of corn.



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