Ground Beetle

This fast-running beetle is a friend to gardeners.

pgbeetle_mh

It's a nocturnal creature, so you've probably only seen it--or one of its many cousins--scurry for cover when you overturn a log or rock in the garden.

A gardener's friend, the predacious ground beetle feeds on caterpillars, cutworms, slugs, tent caterpillars, fly maggots and other garden and household pests, crushing them with powerful chewing mouthparts. Although it's has been known to feed on earthworms and a few other "good" bugs in the garden, the predacious ground beetle eats far more bad bugs than good.

Sometimes called carabids (they belong to the Carabidae family), predacious ground beetles are usually black or very dark brown, and sometimes metallic green or purple. Their head is usually considerably smaller than their body. They're often found in moist to wet locations. Some types exhibit defensive behavior (like emitting strong odors) when disturbed. They're fast runners.

These beetles are sometimes attracted to lights and find their way inside the house. If you find one indoors, carry it outside and release it. It's a good guy.

Next Up

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

These large beetles do their best work at night: feeding on wood-destroying fungi.

Golden Tortoise Beetle

This garden curiosity can change color under stress.

Welcome the Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle to Your Garden

This member of the ground-beetle family is considered a beneficial insect in the garden.

How to Manage Mosquitoes in the Garden

Use basic strategies as well as new approaches for controlling mosquitoes in your outdoor spaces.

Clearwing Sphinx Moth

Here's a critter that looks vaguely like a bee but behaves like a hummingbird.

Assassin Bug

Despite its unfriendly name, this critter is a friend to gardeners most of the time.

In Defense of Spiders

Learning to love the worldwide webs.

Invite Dragonflies Into Your Garden

Inviting dragonflies into your garden can provide a lot of magic and fewer mosquitoes.

Millipedes

These slow-moving critters feed on decaying plant matter and can be found in dark, cozy places.

The Good, the Bad and the Buggy

People often remember the bad and forget the good, and that's especially true about insects.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.