Help with an insect

Asked May 13, 2019, 8:46 PM EDT

For about 10 years I have seen the attached bug in my basement where our animal hospital is. We see them in the spring/summer/fall, possibly one a day, maybe less. They are now showing upstairs in the house. This one "bug" was in the kitchen (it's slightly squished explaining the entrails out the back), but last week my daughter had one in bed with her, and then recently, I had 2 in my bedroom the same night - one woke me up crawling on my face, and after I flushed it down the toilet, I found a second on the rug by my bed "bug length." They are 2 cm long - don't fly, just crawl.

Howard County Maryland

2 Responses

This is a false bombadier beetle, a type of ground beetle. Since it is a predator of insects, try to eliminate its food sources indoors. That may entail lots of cleaning to remove whatever is attracting other species of insects.

Since this is an animal hospital, and you probably don't want to be applying toxic chemicals indoors, use sticky traps (such as those used for cockroaches), where applying insecticides is unhealthy. You could consider applying a perimeter insecticide.

Here is a good, general page about false bombadier beetles: They have evolved quite effective weapons.


Hi Ellen,

Thank-you for answering this. In the past 2 years we had a termite problem which last summer involved removing and replacing a wall in the waiting room (window wall), and guaranteed work by a professional exterminator thrilled that we proceeded as we did so his work could be done completely.

So hopefully with those perimeter and foundation pesticides the termites are gone. We've also had trouble with carpenter ants which the termite work seems to have addressed. I am guessing these beetles are now hungry so looking for the termites and ants elsewhere. I am happy to have them eat the ants!