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where to get dung beetles for repopulating VA farm

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  • where to get dung beetles for repopulating VA farm

    I've been avoiding Ivermectin wormers for a year now, but I suspect I won't see significant repopulation of dung beetles as my farm is surrounded by cattle farms, which use lots of Ivermectin. I've searched the web for sources to buy dung beetles, but no luck (except specimens, or live ones in Australia).

    I'm in Berryville, VA, which is near WV and MD.

    Suggestions? Anyone want to harvest some and send them to me?

    Thanks,

    Yvonne
    Yvonne Lucas
    Red Moon Farm
    redmoonfarm.com


    "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

    "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford

  • #2
    I have been trying to find a source of dung beetles for years. Some one out there must sell them, I just can't seem to find him/her. Somewhere there are plans for cultivating your own but I never tried it.



    Well whaddaya know. A new company.

    http://dungbeetles.biz/
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling

    Comment


    • #3
      We had some friends that, many, many years ago, got on that ecological balance kick and went looking for dung beetles and said they could not find any.

      So, they asked us, we have more than enough to spare, they came, we hunted, they left with sacks full of them and called later to say they must not have been looking right, because when they went thru the pastures to spread the carefully gathered ones they got here, they found they did have many themselves already in the pastures.

      Moral of this story, do look a little harder, look at different times of the day and week and month and year, before you assume you don't have dung beetles.

      One warning, if you go catching you some, use thick gloves and watch it, they can fly and if you bother them, they BITE!
      Yep, they do.

      Comment


      • #4
        What for?

        What is the purpose of dung beetles?

        Comment


        • #5
          They break down manure and carry it into small tunnels, aerating and fertilizing pastures. And by breaking down manure, very quickly, they reduce the number of flies.

          They are proven to reduce the number of horn and face flies. Fly predators don't work on those species, but horn and face flies are a significant problem on many horse farms (and definitely anywhere near cattle).

          There are usually plenty around, but since Ivermectin kills them off some folks like to repopulate them, even though they'll eventually come back on their own. They're pretty cool. They can break down a cow patty in less than 24 hours, reducing it to nothing more than a bit of fluff. Same thing with pig and horse manure.

          If you ever pick up or scatter a pile of manure and see little holes in the ground under it, dung beetles did that.

          If you google you'll find a great article on the importance of dung beetles in the pasture ecosystem. I think this is the one I'm thinking of - but I'm sure there is much more info out there. http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/dungbeetle.html
          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
          -Rudyard Kipling

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks everyone. It sounds like there's a business opportunity there. I know I have no dung beetles - manure just sits there. I wonder if the Texas ones would make in in VA?

            I'm going to go "bug" my Ag Extension agent this week.

            Yvonne
            Yvonne Lucas
            Red Moon Farm
            redmoonfarm.com


            "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

            "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford

            Comment


            • #7
              I love COTH, if only for the thread titles.
              Ring the bells that still can ring
              Forget your perfect offering
              There is a crack in everything
              That's how the light gets in.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                I have been trying to find a source of dung beetles for years. Some one out there must sell them, I just can't seem to find him/her. Somewhere there are plans for cultivating your own but I never tried it.



                Well whaddaya know. A new company.

                http://dungbeetles.biz/
                Thanks JSwan. I've been in touch with the company. They're in Florida but it seems some of their beetles might work for my more clayey VA soil. I'm going to try a batch of them when they're ready. I'll report how it seems to go.

                My Ag Extension agent said there *are* dung beetles around here, but it takes years and years for them to repopulate naturally. He had no problem with me importing some.

                Thanks, all!
                Yvonne Lucas
                Red Moon Farm
                redmoonfarm.com


                "Practice doesn't make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect." - Jim Wofford

                "Some days you're the dog, some days the hydrant." - Jim Wofford

                Comment


                • #9
                  Those species do exist in VA, so you should be fine. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the USDA did conduct releases, but I'll be darned if I can remember the details.

                  The beetles are out and about here already. I peeked.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I did a thread about dung beetles last year -- more tidbits of info was posted there.

                    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...ht=dung+beetle

                    I had always seen them in the barn (stalls) I had no idea how beneficial they were for the pastures. I had never given it a thought before, it makes perfect sense. The amazing COTH resource!!

                    And yes here is the hole in the market - not sure how much money to be made and try telling someone at a cocktail party that you breed dung beetles. lol
                    Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm in south central PA, feel free to come hunt and capture some of mine! haha
                      http://www.minuspride.blogspot.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I wonder if we have them in TN? I've never seen any but now I want to go check the pastures. But I use ivermectin. I'd hate to kill them all off

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Funny Video

                          Check out the beginning of this video:
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND715cP7xdM



                          ETA that whole video is pretty entertaining, along with the other "walk on the wild side" BBC videos.
                          Equus Keepus Brokus

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