We get many calls about small round black beetles that are being found in the yard foraging about on animal waste. These beetles are related to the egyptian scarab beetle but much smaller. Usually 3/8th to 1/2 inch in length, dung beetles can be metallic blue green in color, bronze or black. Dung beetles are found throughout the United States and are strong flyers. They’re attracted to animal waste and will readily feed upon the droppings left by dog, rabbit, deer, raccoon, cat, cow, horse, chicken and pretty much any type of mammal.
DUNG BEETLE BIOLOGY ^
Dung beetles (also known as litter bugs, litter beetles, tumble bugs, pooh beetles and fece fighters) generally go unnoticed when active out in the yard. Attracted by the scent of animal waste, adult dung beetles will lay eggs in the fecal matter from which larvae will hatch and begin feeding. This activity will happen down under the top of the feces so it’s easy to miss. Larva are small grub like caterpillars which develop through several instars before becoming adults. At that time they’ll leave the fecal pile and fly off looking for a mate and some fresh “food”.
WHERE DO DUNG BEETLES INFEST? ^
Dung beetles are usually not a problem and in fact, many times they’re desirable. Farmers commonly depend on them to recycle waste piles which in turn can help eliminate foul odors and other problems associated with fecal matter.
By nesting and eating feces, dung beetles effectively take food away from filth flies which are a bigger problem and more of a hazard when active around people. For this reason dung beetles will many times be tolerated on the farm or other environment where a lot of animals are active.
WHY ARE DUNG BEETLES A PROBLEM? ^
But if you’re trying to utilize manure or recycle some type of animal feces for fertilizer, the dung beetle will become an enemy. Basically they’ll eat everything you’re trying to mulch back to the soil. And what they consume is very important nutrient wise so in fact, if you leave them to populate and eat what you place out, you’ll no doubt loose most of the benefit the manure was supposed to provide. For this reason dung beetles can be a problem when their numbers become significant.
ORGANIC DUNG BEETLE SPRAY ^
Once in the garden where you’ve applied manure for fertilizer, dung beetles may have to be reduced. For organic gardeners, the easiest way to eliminate them is to spray MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER. This product is approved for organic farming but still strong enough to handle the toughest of beetles. Treat as you see them which will usually mean 1-2 applications a month.
BEST DUNG BEETLE SPRAY ^
For longer lasting control, go with ADONIS. This non-repelling concentrate won’t spook dung beetles (or any other insect for that matter). It uses the same active found in Advantage, the topical ointment used on dogs for controlling fleas and ticks. That concentrate is over 9% and the solution you’ll be spraying in the yard is under .2% once dilute so there is no hazard to use Adonis where people and pet are active.
Apply .5 oz of Adonis per gallon of water when using a PUMP SPRAYER. The 27.5 oz jug will cover up to an acre and treatments will last 30-60 days so one application will last a long time.
Adonis doesn’t work quickly so don’t expect immediate results. Typically it will be 2-3 days before affected beetles die. But once they start dying, they’ll keep dying for many weeks.
The best way to apply Adonis is with a good HOSE END SPRAYER. Using our sprayer, you’ll want to add 2.5 oz of Adonis to the tank and then fill it with water to the 5 gallon mark. Next, you’ll hook the sprayer to your garden hose and spray the entire amount over 5,000 sq/ft. Retreat monthly until their gone but in general, one application will take care of any problem and last 2-3 months.
DUNG BEETLES ON AND INSIDE THE HOME ^
In some cases, dung beetles can be so active around the home they can end up on the homes siding and eventually inside living spaces. In general, dung beetles are not invasive but if you have large amounts of land with dung beetles present, some will no doubt find your house and want to use it for shelter. Since they can carry a wide range of bacteria on them from the dung they contact, they pose a hazard once inside living spaces.
To prevent them from getting inside, be sure to spray down your homes siding with Adonis. Using the same hose end sprayer, treat up high, around the facia boards and rain gutters all the way down to the foundation. Applications will last 60-90 days.
Once inside the home, you don’t want to spook them around so use PHANTOM AEROSOL to spray all cracks and crevices they might be using to nest. Like Adonis, Phantom is non-repelling so beetles and other insects will readily walk over the treated surfaces, pick up some chemical and die in 2-3 days.
DUNG BEETLE MAINTENANCE ^
Since dung beetles aren’t generally invasive, applications done out in the yard should keep them in check. And if you treat every 2-3 months, you should prevent them from blossoming into a major problem.
Now if you have animals that are generating a lot of feces throughout the year, get used to seeing dung beetles arrive in swarms as local populations off your land will be attracted by the smell. In some cases they may be a welcome guest but if you’re using manure as fertilizer, you may want to reduce these manure feeding beetles so your garden can best benefit from the important nutrients manure can provide.
CONTACT US ^
Give us a call if you need further help. Our toll free is 1-800-877-7290 and we’re open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM. On Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and on Saturday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).
Email questions here: http://bugspray.com/about-us/contact-us
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