DUNG BEETLES
 
 

You probably have no idea of how important these little creatures are! Indeed, if you are like most people in Britain, you would think that they are only found in Africa! However, we have over 40 species of native Dung Beetle in Britain. Dung Beetles are busy throughout the year, working away, burying and shredding dung. As farmers and horse-owners, we rely on these insects to prevent our pastures ending up covered in dung! However, that's not all they do...


Dung Beetles can also:


  • Reduce pasture fouling
  • Improve horse-sick pasture
  • Increase soil fertility
  • Increase soil organic matter
  • Improve soil aeration & soil structure
  • Improve water run-off quality
  • Can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock
  • Can reduce livestock parasites, reducing the use of chemical livestock wormers (anthelmintics)

The problem is, that across the world, Dung Beetle populations are in decline, largely due to the overuse of livestock wormers (anthelmintics) and other chemical parasite control products as well as changes in pasture management. They are therefore not burying/shredding dung as efficiently as they could be and we are ending up with compacted pastures covered in dung.


Here at Dung Beetles Direct, our aim is to alert people to the importance of Dung Beetles, provide advice on pasture management and parasiticide (wormer & ecto-parasiticide) use to benefit Dung Beetles! What we really want to do is to make a start to reverse the declines of British Dung Beetles...now that's quite a mission statement, but we're positive that we can make a difference, both on the individual farm/field and across Britain!


But we're not only planning to help the Dung Beetles. Dung Beetles can save you money too...serious money! How much money? Well, we've got a programme of research running to find out. It has been suggested that Dung Beetles save the US cattle industry over $380 million per year. But how much will they save in Britain and what is the average saving per farm or per horse?


Follow the link to find out more about this project and our other exciting research projects at Dr Beynon's Bug Farm.