Beetles that Help Gardeners

Beetles that Help Gardeners

Beetles that are soil dwelling can be good friends to the gardener. Rove beetles stahylinids and ground beetles or carabids are both useful. In adult and larvae form they eat insects, slugs and other invertabrates.

Ground Beetles

  • As predators of invertebrates and many pests these black or brown beetles are considered beneficial.
  • Most feed at ground level but some will climb to eat aphids.
  • Carabus is a larger carabid and will feed on slugs, leather jackets and cutworms. (Mmmm juicy)
  • The caterpillar hunters Calosoma are famous for their habit of devouring insect larvae and pupae in quantity.
  • A few beetle species are herbivorous pests like Zabrus.
  • Poecilus cupreus is shiny black with long legs and powerful jaws.
  • One for the goulish kids, many ground beetles eat by vomiting on their prey and waiting for their digestive enzymes to make their food more fluid and easier to eat.

Rove Beetles

    • Devils coach horse or Staphylinus olens is one of the larger rove beetle at up to 30mm. It is often found under pots or rotting logs.

  • A smaller species Atheta coriaria is used as a biological control for gnat larve in greenhouses.
  • Many Rove beetle species can fly although others are excellent runners,

Beetle Conservation

  • Don’t squash, squidge or crush these helpful creatures
  • Provide ground covers or mulches for rove beetles they love to stay in moist decaying organic matter.
  • Give beetles sites to hide like flowering borders, hedges, and perennial habitats as a source of food and shelter.
  • Protect beetles by not spraying broad spectrum pesticides.
  • Provide permanent beds and perennial plantings to protect population.
  • Plant white clover or amaranth as ground covers.

Source Royal Entomological Society link




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