Upstate NY USA here.

For the last few days I have been finding several of these bugs in my basement:


enter image description here


enter image description here

Is this a cockroach?!? If so, what species/subspecies/type is it? And if not, what else could it be?

  • 3
    There are over 1,000,000 described species of insects, found pretty much everywhere. You might have a better chance of identification if you tell us where in the world your basement is.
    – Niall C.
    Sep 7 '16 at 16:58
  • 1
    It looks like a cockroach to me (possibly a Chinese roach), and it looks to be female that's starting to develop an egg sac. Your pictures are kind of blurry, so a definitive ID may not be possible.
    – BillDOe
    Sep 7 '16 at 17:17

Nope. It's a beetle. 99% sure. Can't be 100% because I'm not there but I'll try to verify in a book. I'm a marine biologist not an entomologist so this may take a while. Lol

Look up ground beetle pics and see if you agree.

  • I think you're right @Jess (+1) - it took a couple of Google searches, but I think it looks identical to strawberry seed beetles, which are a type of ground beetle. I really hope you're right...ehhhh cockroaches (blaht!!!). I'll leave this question open for a while to let anyone else contest this, but there's 3 reasons why I think you're correct: (1) apparently they are native to Europe/Africa but are now all over the US.
    – smeeb
    Sep 7 '16 at 18:19
  • (2) Ground beetles appear to have lots of stripes/striations running down the top of the largest part of their shell (these are laymen's descriptions; I'm just a software nerd), and these bugs definitely have this characteristic. From the Google Gods, it looks like cockroaches do not have these. And (3) the undersides of my basement bugs look identical to the one in the link I put above in the last comment.
    – smeeb
    Sep 7 '16 at 18:20
  • One quick followup question, if you don't mind: do you know anything about ground beetle infestations?!? Do these things carry disease? Do they grow out of control (and thus, become just as bad as cockroach infestations), or will they "go away" on their own. I'll do my own digging here as well, and may very well eventually consult a bug service, but was curious if you had any general input here. Thanks again!
    – smeeb
    Sep 7 '16 at 18:22
  • Pretty sure they just eat bugs and are annoying (Much like lady bug infestations). They like moist, dark places. Basement is likely a GB'S dream home. I would hold off on calling in the big guns. From what I can tell, they don't survive long once they make it inside anyway, so the risk of them colonizing is low.
    – Jess
    Sep 7 '16 at 18:36

I would have to agree with Jess, it appears to be the Common Black Ground Beetle (which is several species of beetle really). I have mistaken them for roaches on quick glance too. It could be the Oriental Roach but just a few things in the photo make me thing it is a beetle.

The photo is a little blurry but its sections appear to be the right sizes and the abdomen looks like it has ridges that run in parallel with the long axis of its body. Additionally, (don't quote me) I believe that house roaches in North America do not store their wings behind a hard shell. The photo suggests a hard shell with a split in the centre straight down, roaches 'interweave' their wings. The head doesn't appear to be the right shape to be a roach either, its mandibles appear to be the front most part of its head, a roach's eyes tend to be the leading part of head, and the mandible down low towards the ground.

A roach's head: Roach's Head

A ground beetle's head: enter image description here

I find them in my garage all the time in Missouri, they don't really do any harm. Just ugly and scare you death if they scurry out of something unexpectedly.

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