John receives lots of questions about dung beetles. Below are the common questions that get asked.
Q. How many dung beetles do I need?
A. For best results, we recommend that you purchase as many species as possible that are suitable for your climatic condition, including both day and night flying species in order to cover all seasons and as many variations of climate as possible.
This is because individual dung beetle species tend to operate in certain months of the year and having a number of species ensures that dung beetles will be active over most of the year.
Q. What species of dung beetle would suit my property and livestock?
A. SOILCAM matches species to your climate using the CLIMAX program.
Q. Is the soil on my property suitable for dung beetles?
A. Yes. Dung beetles have no control over where dung is dropped and so will bury dung in most soils wherever they find dung.
Q. Do you supply dung beetles to overseas buyers?
A. Generally no as the administrative requirements (in both Australia to export and in the country of destination in terms of phyto-sanitary import regulations) are complex and time-consuming to deal with. SOILCAM will, however, supply dung beetles to overseas research institutions for the purposes of research.
Q. Will dung beetles control buffalo fly?
A. Yes, but only when dung beetles are at their peak burial activity levels. Buffalo fly larvae require 4-5 days undisturbed in a cow pad to mature and survive, so burial within 24-72 hours will prevent larvae development. Some control is also due to shredding and desiccation when the cow dung is broken up.
Q. Will dung beetles bury dog dung?
A. Yes, but SOILCAM does not supply dung beetles for this purpose.
Q. Will dung beetles bury Alpaca dung?
A. Yes, but only a little. SOILCAM does not consider that the species now existing in Australia are suitable for the good burial of alpaca dung.
Q. Will dung beetles bury sheep dung?
A. Yes, but only when sheep dung is in a sausage shape (usually in the winter months in southern Australia). In Summer, pelletised sheep dung dries out too quickly and dung beetles are unable to knead the dry pellets into a brood ball.
Q. Can I buy dung beetles for my property in the tropics?
A. Generally not as suitable species are difficult to harvest.
Q. Can dung beetles help me reduce artificial fertiliser application?
A. Yes and to a significant extent. Burying dung positions 80% of the nitrogen in dung under the roots of the grasses in your pastures as well as many other valuable trace elements including phosphorus.
Q. If there is no dung to consume, will dung beetles attack plants or other insects such as bees?
A. Dung beetles and their numbers are self-governing. They will breed and increase their numbers to whatever level the food supply can sustain. Adult dung beetles have no teeth and animal dung is their only food. They feed by taking the liquid and bacteria in fresh dung into their digestive systems.
Q. What about other animals, birds and insects that prey on dung beetles?
A. Dung beetles have evolved in company with nature’s natural predators, such as birds and foxes for which they form part of the food chain. However, these predators have a little significant long-term impact on dung beetle populations.
Q. Can I keep dung beetles as pets?
A. The dung beetle species supplied by SOILCAM are adapted to open field conditions with a regular supply of fresh livestock dung. It is unlikely they would be suitable as pets.
Do you require more information? Contact John today: