Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

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Exotic dung beetles in pasture and rangeland ecosystems.

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Because they rapidly bury dung pads and thereby reduce pest fly breeding sites, selected species of exotic dung beetles are being imported and used as an integrated pest management tool on California’s pasture and range land. These beetles are being mass-produced and released in an attempt to simultaneously manage three pests: the horn fly and the face fly, which breed only in cattle dung, and the dried-out slabs of dung, which become pests that smother the growth of new vegetation for two to four growing seasons. Their digging also may improve pastures by accelerating nutrient recycling and by improving soil stability and permeability. Researchers in other areas also have found that dung beetles reduce the numbers of parasitic gastro-intestinal worms that infect cattle.

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Source:  John R. Anderson and Edmond C. Loomis, California Agriculture, 1978


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