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Here’s What Dung Beetles Do For Us, and How You Can Have More of Them

By   /  November 19, 2018  /  2 Comments

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From November of 2015 here’s the poop on Dung beetles. Enjoy! Troy Bishopp (the Grass Whispere
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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. Oogie McGuire says:

    Couple of questions:

    What do you look for when the manure in question is sheep pellets not cow pats?

    How long does the sheep Ivermectin drench cause problems for dung beetles?

    • Kathy Voth says:

      Regarding your Ivermectin question, here’s a paper I found: Effects of ivermectin residues in sheep dung on the development and survival of the bushfly, Musca vetustissima Walker and a scarabaeine dung beetle, Euoniticellus fulvus Goeze, by Wardhaugh KG1, Mahon RJ, Axelsen A, Rowland MW, Wanjura W. It says, “Dung produced during the first day after drenching caused mortality among newly emerged beetles and delayed the reproductive development of survivors. However, beetles in which ovarian development was impaired regained their reproductive capacity following transfer to nontoxic dung. Day 1 dung caused no mortality among sexually mature beetles, although there was a significant reduction in their fecundity. Dung collected from 2 to 10 days post-drenching had no detectable effects on either the survival or reproductive development of adult beetles, regardless of age. Residues in dung collected 1-2 days post-drenching caused 100% mortality in beetle larvae, but by Day 5 there was no evidence of acute toxicity. These findings indicate that insects feeding on the dung of ivermectin-treated sheep display adverse effects similar in range to those reported for cattle dung. However, their duration is much more transient, owing probably to differences in drug formulation and route of administration.”

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