Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Dung Control Beetles

They could happen to you!
  [vote for,

100 pounds of dog lives in my yard. They make a lot of dung. Flies often visit, and sprinklers keep dung moist. However, as opposed to the maggotty situation at my previous abode, here in San Diego each heap is quickly colonized by huge numbers of tiny (2 mm) beetles. They look like Tribolium sp. I think these beetles must eat the fly larvae/eggs, as well as the dung itself. In the hole where I throw the stuff, the level is not rising very fast despite my dogs' efforts - again because of these many hungry beetles.

It seems to me these innocuous, hard working beetles could be a boon to others - anyone with large quantities of maggotty poop. This experiment could be done. I am ready to send a small jar of beetles to anyone interested in giving them a try. Seriously! There is no reason I can think of not to use the HB to coordinate this experiment in biologic dung control.

bungston, Aug 06 2004

Darkling beetles http://www.ent.iast...98/prog/abs/77.html
Also prolific poop eaters. [bungston, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       i notice you didn't offer to have other people's dog dung sent to you. that would be truly pioneering.   

       p.s. there might be some federal laws about exporting a probably uncontrollable species of vermin across the globe.   

       p.s.s. couple of other dung beetle solutions reside here. look up ^   

       [FarmerJohn]'s is especially clever.
xclamp, Aug 06 2004

       My experience of dung beetles is that they really do not make a dent in the dung, and happily co-exist with maggots.
bungston, Aug 06 2004

       yes it seems just from the descriptions you are talking about a different species of beetle. Just a quick search of Tribolium (flour beetles) shows that they primarily feed on grain products (is there grain filler in the dog's food?). more interestingly they are hosts to other parasitic organisms, including a common tapeworm variety which may explain their effectiveness on your dung heap.   

       if these beetles got from the yard to your kitchen, you and the dog could end up with tapeworms. they are not innocuous.   

       also, doesn't it seem weird that the beetles magically appear? perhaps the larvae you see aren't fly maggots but beetle larvae. i'd check the grains in the kitchen and the dog's food pronto. on this further review gotta bone this for bad science. (-)
xclamp, Aug 06 2004

       [clampy] there aint no science here. Just beetles. They showed up. They eat poop. Maybe they might be of use to someone else.
bungston, Aug 07 2004

       well you said   

       //There is no reason I can think of not to use the HB to coordinate this experiment in biologic dung control//   

       and i gave you several reasons why it would be a bad idea. don't send them to my house!
xclamp, Aug 08 2004

       Sorry, a hogshead of beetles is already by your back door.
bungston, Aug 08 2004

       I'm always in favor of natural solutions, and I really doubt that dung beetles could get seriously out of control the way some other introduced species have, and I really loathe doggy doo on the streets, so croissant!   

       Send some to Australia for the sheep, for goodness' sake.
DrCurry, Aug 08 2004


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