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, litter beetles can be metallic blue green in color, bronze or just plain black.
Litter 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.
LITTER BEETLE BIOLOGY ^
Litter beetles (also known as litter bugs, dung beetles, tumble bugs, pooh beetles and fece fighters) generally go unnoticed in the yard because most people don’t spend time staring at animal feces. But if you were to examine any significant pile of animal waste in the wild, it will usually harbor a range of insects.
One of the more common attracted by the scent of animal waste are litter beetles. Once they find a good amount of animal poo, gravid females will lay eggs. Within a couple of days, eggs will hatch larvae who will immediately begin to feed. This activity will happen down under the top of the feces so it’s easy to miss.
Larva are small grub like caterpillars that will develop through several instars (small stages of the adult) before becoming adults. At that time they’ll leave the fecal pile and fly off looking for a mate and some fresh “food”.
PROBLEMS WITH LITTER BEETLES ^
Litter 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 eating feces, litter beetles effectively take food away from filth flies which can be a whole other problem on their own. For this reason litter beetles will many times be tolerated around the farm or other environment where animals are active.
But if you’re trying to utilize manure or recycle some type of animal feces for fertilizer, the litter beetle will become an enemy. Basically they’ll eat everything you’re trying to mulch. 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 litter beetles can be a problem when their numbers become significant.
HOW TO TREAT LITTER BEETLES ^
If you have active litter beetles in your yard or on the home, there are treatments to manage the problem. For the organic farmers, we have an organic option strong enough to control hard shelled beetles but not strong enough to affect your crop. For the common homeowner wanting to keep their yard free from this pest, we have an easy to use “ready to spray” material you apply using a garden hose. And if the beetles are invading your home, we have a couple of sprays designed to keep them off the house and to control them if they’re already in living spaces.
ORGANIC LITTER BEETLE SPRAY ^
If you’re maintaining an organic garden and don’t want the litter beetles eating your manure, treat with MULTIPURPOSE INSECT KILLER as needed. This ready to spray material is approved for use in organic gardens and is still strong enough to handle the toughest litter beetle infestation. Treat as you see them which usually means 1-2 applications a month.
Add 6 oz to a gallon of water and use the mixed spray to treat 500-750 sq/ft of plant foliage. Remember, its important to treat the ground around the infested feces since eggs are commonly laid right on the ground in the area. This is especially true when treating around compost piles.
BEST SPRAY FOR THE YARD ^
For large areas, CYONARA RTS will be a better option. It too comes in a handy “ready to spray” container and can cover up to half an acre per jug. For large lawns here fecal matter is spread out, this will prove to be the easier option. And its labeled for use on garden plants too.
To treat, simply hook the jug up to your garden hose and turn it on. One jug will cover up to 1/2 acre so broadcast it out over the lawn, garden, flowers and compost pile if needed. Cyonara is odorless and can be used safely on fruits and vegetables too.
HOUSE INFESTED WITH LITTER BEETLES?
In some cases, litter beetles can reproduce so much in the yard they will become invasive. In general, litter beetles are content to stay outside. but if you have large amounts of land with litter beetles present, some will no doubt find your house and want to use it for shelter. Once on the siding, they can migrate inside and become a pest anytime of year.
The best spray to keep them off your home is CYPERMETHRIN. Litter beetles don’t like this active and will stay off treated surfaces so treating will keep them off the home and it will kill any already nesting.
Mix 1 oz per gallon of water an plan on getting about 800 sq/ft of coverage per mixed gallon. Treat monthly when they’re active and be sure to treat key entry points. These will usually be around windows, doors, gutters, soffits and vents common to most any home.
Use a good PUMP SPRAYER to apply the Cypermethrin.
BEST SPRAY FOR IN THE HOME ^
Cypermethrin can be applied in the home but in most cases, spraying a liquid in living areas can be messy. And since they tend to congregate around windows and doors, a better option for the living area is PHANTOM AEROSOL. Use it in cracks and crevices but also to spot treat any surface you’ve seen activity.
Phantom does not kill quickly. Instead it will take 2-3 days to take affect. But this very much by design and allows the active to be spread and shared throughout nests. In the days following a treatment, many more beetles will be killed by this process thus ensuring thorough results.
HOW TO KEEP LITTER BEETLES FROM COMING BACK ^
Since litter beetles generally aren’t invasiv and usually don’t get excessvive, there usually is no need to do regular maintenance to keep numbers in check. So once you treat, most infestations will be controlled. But if you find the numbers escalating again, treat as explained above.
Now if you have animals that are generating a lot of feces throughout the year, get used to seeing litter beetles during the warm season. 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: https://bugspray.com/about-us/contact-us
Order online and get a 5% discount! We ship fast with 99.9% of all orders shipping within 1 business day!!
Learn more about BUGSPRAY.COM and why it’s never been easier or safer to do your own pest control.
Please show your support for our business by purchasing the items we recommend from the links provided. Remember, this is the only way we can stay around to answer your questions and keep this valuable web site up and running. Thanks for your business!