WSU Extension


Predatory Beetles
Asian lady beetles 
Convergent lady beetles 
Ground beetles 
Lady beetles 
Mite-eating lady and Scymnus beetles 
Rove beetles 
Seven-spot lady beetles 
Transverse lady beetles 

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Caption: Ground beetle (Carabidae)
Photo by: D.G. James
Predatory Beetles : Ground beetles
(revision date: 10/10/2018)

Carabids or ground beetles, as their name suggests, are ground-dwelling, living in soil and detritus, with some species preying on cutworms, ants, maggots, earthworms, slugs and other beetles. Largely nocturnal, they are rarely seen but large populations can exist in gardens providing valuable pest control services. There are many species of ground beetles ranging from 1/8 inch to 1 inch in length and most are dark and shiny with prominent eyes and thread-like antennae.

Prey or Pest Targeted
  • Mites, aphids, leafhoppers, mealybugs, thrips, insect eggs and small larvae, scale insects, whiteflies
Attracting and Keeping Natural Enemies & Pollinators in Your Yard
  • Avoid regular use of synthetic, broad-spectrum pesticides. Infrequent use of certain narrow-spectrum pesticides is more compatible with some beneficials but generally the less chemical inputs there are, the greater and more diverse the beneficial insect community will be. Extensive lawns are also not conducive to attracting and retaining a diversity of beneficial insects, mites and spiders. Minimize lawn areas and maximize shrub and bush plantings. Many beneficials reside naturally in riparian and other ‘natural’ areas near to many back yards. Natural dispersion from these refuges ensures that some beneficials will visit back yards but they will not stay unless food, host and shelter resources are available. Native plants have closer affinities with native insects and therefore provide most of these resources. A garden with a good diversity of local native flora in and around back yards, will improve the abundance and diversity of local, beneficial arthropods. Native flora also provides natural overwintering sites for many beneficial insects and it is useful to leave at least a small area of native vegetation undisturbed during fall and winter.
  • Some kinds of beneficial insects (e.g. lady beetles, lacewings, predatory mites) are available for purchase from commercial suppliers. However, benefits from introducing these beneficials are usually limited and short-lived. Upon release, commercially obtained lady beetles and lacewings often disperse and may rapidly leave your backyard despite the presence of prey and suitable nectar resources. Generally, it is more effective and sustainable to create a garden habitat that will be colonized by beneficials naturally.


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Caption: Ground beetle (Carabidae)
Photo by: D.G. James