And, how to tell the difference between black ground beetles and cockroaches


Eeek! My yard is overrun with gigantic black insects! What should I do?

Black ground beetle outdoors
Ground beetles can look pretty intimidating!

First: identify! Many people see black ground beetles and mistakenly believe they are cockroaches, so it’s important to be able to tell the difference between the two.

American cockroaches are typically reddish brown with a yellowish ‘figure 8’ pattern on the head. They’re oval shaped and range from 1 and ¼ inches to 2 and ⅛ inches, with antennae and six legs. Their small cousin, the german cockroach, are typically reddish brown and have two strips running front to back on the body segment behind the head.  Adult german cockroaches are about ½ to 1 inch in length, with antennae and six legs.

Black ground beetles–found almost exclusively outdoors– are usually ½ to 1 inch long and metallic, inky black in color. They have a round abdomen, ridges on their wing covers, antennae and six legs.

Black ground beetle next to penny for scale
Here’s a ground beetle we spotted indoors!

It’s ground beetles then! Are they harmful?

Don’t panic! Ground beetles are essentially harmless, nuisance pests that originate from outdoors.  Also, they don’t bite, sting, or spread disease. They only become a problem when environmental conditions allow their numbers to swell exponentially,  and they start to move into our homes! At this point most people don’t like the sight of them and they take action.


Okay great, so how do I get rid of them?

Outdoors, black ground beetles like to take shelter under rocks, logs, and other dark, moist areas, so you could try limiting the amount of hiding places on your property. Because their shell acts as a “shield,” standard insecticides typically won’t be enough to eradicate these pests. If you’re truly overrun, consider calling your local pest control professional. It’s likely that they’ll be able to get rid of the ground beetles with a simple, low-impact treatment.


As always, feel free to give Graduate a call if black ground beetles are getting the best of you. We’ve got everything you need for a pest-free summer!

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