How to Get Rid of Dung Beetles: Quick and Effective Solutions

We know you’re dealing with beetles invading your space, potentially putting health and property at risk. If you need help identifying and eliminating the infestation at the source, connect with our recommended local professional near you.

Dung beetles, while often overlooked, are beneficial to agriculture by breaking down animal waste and recycling nutrients back into the soil. However, in some situations, they can become a nuisance to farmers or property owners. If you’re facing an issue with dung beetles and need effective ways to keep their population under control, this article is for you.

There are various strategies to manage and reduce dung beetle populations on your property. These methods involve manipulating the beetle’s natural behavior to your advantage and using safe, environmentally friendly techniques. By understanding how dung beetles operate, you can implement these methods to maintain a balance between their ecological benefits and potential drawbacks.

Understanding Dung Beetles

Dung Beetle Benefits

Dung beetles, with over 6,000 species worldwide, play a significant role in agriculture and the environment. They help:

  • Decompose animal excrement
  • Improve soil quality
  • Control pests and parasites

Types of Dung Beetles: Rollers, Tunnelers, and Dwellers

Dung beetles can be classified into three categories:

  1. Rollers: Create balls from dung and roll them away to consume or lay eggs
  2. Tunnelers: Dig tunnels beneath dung piles and transport dung to nourish their offspring
  3. Dwellers: Live within dung piles, feeding on the material and laying eggs

A comparison of these types:

TypeReproductive StrategyMovement of DungHabitatBenefits
RollersLay eggs within dung ballsRoll awayOpen fieldsDecreases pests, reduces odor, increases nutrient cycling
TunnelersLay eggs in tunnels filled with dungDig downNear dung pilesImproves soil structure, reduces odor, increases nutrient availability
DwellersLay eggs directly in dung pilesNoneWithin dung pilesControls fly populations, decomposes dung, improves soil conditions

Dung Beetle Lifecycle

The dung beetle lifecycle consists of four stages:

  1. Egg: Laid within dung or tunnels
  2. Larva: Feeds on dung and undergoes multiple molts before pupating
  3. Pupa: Transforms into an adult beetle
  4. Adult: Emerges from pupal stage, capable of flying, and reproduces

Adult dung beetles have:

  • Hard shells
  • Wings for flying
  • Strong legs for digging
  • Varying colors, including black and reddish

Some species have distinct head structures, like horns or tusks, which they use to protect their mates and offspring. There are generally two generations of dung beetles per season: one in late spring and another in fall.

Identifying a Dung Beetle Infestation

Signs of Infestation in Yards and Gardens

Dung beetles, while beneficial to the ecosystem, can sometimes become pests. They are easily identified by their stout oval-shaped bodies and unique clubbed antennae. To check for an infestation, look for the following signs:

  • Larvae or eggs on or near feces.
  • Beetles rolling balls made of feces.
  • Unusual numbers of beetles near manure piles.

Some species of dung beetles might attack trees or corn, so be aware of damaged plants as well.

Infestation in Livestock Pastures

A rancher needs to pay special attention to their livestock pastures for a dung beetle infestation. These insects are attracted to manure, and their presence may lead to an overpopulation. Key indicators include:

  • An excessive number of beetles near livestock feces.
  • Disruption in the structure of the manure.

Here’s a comparison table between backyard infestations and pasture infestations:

 Backyard InfestationPasture Infestation
SignsEggs, larvae, fecesManure, beetles
Commonly Affected AreasGardens, trees, cornLivestock pastures
Potential DamagePlant lifeLivestock manure
Suitable Pest Control MethodChemicals, trapsBio-controls

When it comes to tackle a dung beetle infestation, pest control methods may vary. For yards and gardens, chemical control methods or traps might help, while in pastures, a more nature-friendly approach, like introducing parasites or predators, is advised.

Remember, a balance of dung beetles is essential for the ecosystem, so don’t overreact when you see some in your garden or pasture. Take the necessary steps only if there is a significant disturbance in the outdoor environment. When you have issues with these pests its always best to call a professional pest control company.

Natural Dung Beetle Control Methods

Introducing Beneficial Insects and Wildlife

Attracting predators and pollinators to the garden can help control dung beetle populations. Examples of beneficial insects and wildlife include:

  • Ladybugs: Eat small insects such as caterpillars and beetle larvae.
  • Bees: Promote plant health, reduce dung beetle food sources.

To encourage these beneficial species, plant garden plants that provide food and shelter, such as:

  • Flowers: Attract pollinators like bees.
  • Shrubs: Offer cover and nesting sites for wildlife.

Integrated Pest Management Practices

Implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices can also help. Some IPM strategies are:

  • Habitat modification: Remove excess organic matter to reduce dung beetle food sources.
  • Chemical controls: Use of selective pesticides, like neem oil, which target pests but do not harm beneficial insects.
Habitat modificationEnvironmentally friendlyRequires manual effort
Chemical controlsEffectiveMay harm non-target species

Milky Spore and Nematode Treatments

Milky spore and nematodes are natural treatments targeting dung beetles in turfgrass without harming beneficial insects:

  • Milky spore: A bacteria that infects and kills beetle larvae.
  • Nematodes: Microscopic worms that attack and eat beetle larvae.

Consider the following when using these treatments:

  • Apply milky spore and nematodes during the appropriate season for maximum effectiveness.
  • Follow label instructions to ensure proper application and safety.

Preventing Future Dung Beetle Infestations

Proper Manure Management

A major factor in controlling dung beetles is to focus on proper manure management. This includes:

  • Regular cleaning and removal of animal waste
  • Composting manure to reduce breeding ground for beetles

For example, implementing a daily manure removal routine in areas like horse stables can drastically reduce dung beetle populations.

Native Plant Species and Flower Gardens

Promoting a diverse ecosystem with native plant species and flowering plants can help. These plants:

  • Attract natural predators of dung beetles
  • Support a balanced ecosystem that keeps beetle populations in check

Adding plants like roses, peppermint, or native flowers from Northern California can create an environment less attractive to dung beetles.

Repellant Strategies

Consider utilizing repellant strategies, which can be chemical or natural:

PesticidesPotentially effective against a wide range of pestsHarmful to beneficial insects, plants, and the environment
Peppermint oilNatural and less harmful to the environmentMust be reapplied frequently; may not be as effective

Remember, your goal should be to minimize the dung beetle population without harming the environment or beneficial insects.

Recognizing When Professional Help Is Needed

Infestation in Buildings and Homes

Call for pest control services now.

Dung beetles are generally found in the natural habitat, but they may enter buildings and homes through open doors or windows. Here are some signs of infestation:

  • Finding adult dung beetles or their grubs in your home
  • European chafers or other species causing damage to plants

If you notice these signs, it’s time to call a pest control professional.

Determining the Scale of the Problem

Identifying the scale of the problem is crucial before taking any action. Here’s how you can evaluate the extent of the infestation:

  • Examine the building for accessible entry points
  • Monitor the number of beetles found indoors
  • Assess the damage caused by the beetles to plants or property

Pest control methods

PesticidesEffective in large areaHarmful to the environment and non-target species
TrapsTarget specific speciesLimited coverage
Biological controlNatural solutionMay take a long time to be effective

Once you have a clear idea of the scale of the infestation, you can then take the appropriate action. If the problem is severe or persists after attempting DIY methods, it’s essential to contact a professional pest control expert.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Scarab Grubs found in rotting tree

Subject: What type of grub is this?
Location: The Pas, Manitoba, Canada
March 23, 2014 7:34 pm
We found this grub burrowed in the middle of a frozen dead ash? tree we knocked down. We were cutting it up with an axe and noticed a few of them. The inside of the tree was totally eaten and was full of dark brown casings/guano. The fat big grub was right in the hard wood in a self made hollow.
We thought ands were damaging our trees but maybe this is the culprit! What is it? Any information about how to get rid of it, damage it causes, etc? Pretty gross but pretty cool at the same time. Thank you
Signature: Snug as a grub

Scarab Grubs
Scarab Grubs

We believe these are Scarab Beetle Grubs, most likely Rhinoceros Beetle Grubs from the subfamily Dynastinae.  We do not believe the Grubs are responsible for the demise of the tree.  They will infest dead and dying trees that are beginning to decompose, but they will not kill healthy trees.

Letter 2 – Scarab Grubs found in dying tree

Subject: Scarabs in Chicago?!
Location: Chicago, Illinois USA
April 26, 2015 7:28 pm
These grubs were inside of a dying silver maple. Found in the middle amongst wood pulp and poop. We live just north of the Windy City. I figured it was some kind of rhino or tricerotops beetle.
Signature: Jim Griesenauer

Scarab Beetle Grubs
Scarab Beetle Grubs

Dear Jim,
We agree with your assessment that these Scarab Beetle Grubs are in the subfamily Dynastinae, the Rhinoceros Beetles.  In our opinion, they probably began feeding on the rotting portion of the dying tree because we do not believe that the grubs were responsible for the tree’s demise.  Thanks for including the images of the children because they provide a nice sense of scale for these large grubs.  We suspect that large Scarab grubs are considered edible by entomophages, so we will attempt to contact David Gracer (see Huffington Post Food Blog) for his opinion.

Scarab Beetle Grubs
Scarab Beetle Grubs
Scarab Beetle Grubs with Children for scale
Scarab Beetle Grubs with Children for scale

Letter 3 – Unknown Scarab Beetle from Jamaica

Beetle identification
Location: Jamaica
February 5, 2012 12:12 pm
Any chance I can get a definition and information about this type of beetle?
Photo taken in Jamaica, December 2011.
I am guessing but it is quite large, probably around 2 inches long.
Signature: Merrowain

Scarab Beetle from Jamaica

Dear Merrowain,
This is some species of Scarab Beetle in the family Scarabaeidae.  Our initial search has not produced a species match, but we will keep trying.

Karl tracks down the identification
Hi Daniel and Merrowain:
This scarab is one of the Fruit and Flower Chafers (Cetoniinae), specifically Gymnetis lanius. As far as I can tell the species is endemic to Jamaica, although there are four closely related sub-species found on other Caribbean islands (Cuba, Haiti, St. Lucia and Guadeloupe). The four black spots on the thorax are diagnostic for the species. I found out little else about the species, but here is a link to another online image.

Thank you both very much for the information. Greatly appreciated.

Letter 4 – Unknown Fuzzy Scarab from Florida is May Beetle

Subject: A fuzzy scarab?
Location: Hudson, Florida
April 14, 2014 7:28 pm
This one was interesting! It was very sleepy when we found it and not very interested in going back outside. Haha. We tried to research what it could be and narrowed it to some kind of scarab but we were lost after that point. Any ideas?
Signature: Madde and Michaela

Scarab Beetle
Scarab Beetle

Hi Madde and Michaela,
WE agree that this fuzzy little guy is a Scarab Beetle, but we have not had any luck identifying the species on BugGuide either.  We will try to get some assistance in this identification.


Update:  We just approved a comment suggesting this might be a Bumble Bee Scarab in the family Glaphyridae, and we had considered that possibility, but we thought it didn’t look exactly like the individuals posted on BugGuide. We wrote to Eric Eaton to see if he can provide an identification.  At this time, we have not yet heard back from Eric.


Eric Eaton provides an broad identification
At least you correctly identified it as a scarab!  I was confounded by a similar beetle here in Colorado a couple years ago.
I’m pretty certain this is a May Beetle of some kind, genus Phyllophaga, but I can’t find a match in Bugguide or anywhere else, either.  I’ll see if I can get something more specific if I have permission to post the images to a Facebook group or two?
Still no word on the Dolerus sawfly swarm mystery, sorry.

Oh yes! Go ahead and post it. I hope we can figure out what it is eventually! It was such a friendly little guy too. =P Good luck and let us know if you find anything!
-Michaela and Madde

Letter 5 – Unknown Scarab from Thailand is Protaetia niveoguttata

Yellow Spotted Beetle from Thailand
May 7, 2010
I found this fellow on my porch in central Bangkok, Thailand. It was during the afternoon and he was struggling to right himself after being stuck on his back. He seemed lethargic and possible in the Autumn of his life.
Bangkok, Thailand

Protaetia niveoguttata

Hi Johnny,
Your letter is the last one we are posting before locking up the office and heading for Ohio for Mother’s Day.  This is a Scarab Beetle, but we haven’t the time to research the species.

Letter 6 – Tumblebug

Dung beetle in Georgia?
While I was taking my dog for a walk around my yard, he stopped and was sniffing at the ground for a while. So I moved him away and took a look for my self and found this little beetle. I am almost positive that it is a Dung Beetle or as I like to refer to them, a Scarab. Not too sure that there is a difference between the two. The odd thing is that I didn’t know that we had these kind of beetles in Georgia. Is this a Dung Beetle/Scarab? And Do we have them in Georgia? Thanks,
Justin R. Robertson

Hi Justin,
Yes, there are Dung Beetles in Georgia, and yes this is a Dung Beetle. Scarab is a more general term for the family of beetles that includes Dung Beetles. We believe this is Canthon vigilans, commonly called a Tumblebug.

Letter 7 – Zig-Zag Fruit Chafer from South Africa

Subject: Garden bug from South Africa
Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
March 29, 2013 6:17 am
Hi. I live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is the tail end of summer. I have seen many of the bugs as per attached in the garden. It seems to be around the flowers as opposed to out in the veld. Is it possible for you to let me know what it is?
Sorry about the pins. NO it is not a ”woodoo bug” 😉
Signature: Sam Angell

Scarab Beetle
Scarab Beetle

Hi Sam,
This is a Scarab Beetle in the family Scarabidae, but we did not have any luck matching it to any photos online in our initial attempts.  Those pins are sure distracting.

Hi. Sorry about the pins. He was a bit floppy ……..
Thank you so much for helping me. I rally appreciate that.
Kind regards

Update:  December 29, 2013
We just received a comment indicating that this is a Zig-Zag Fruit Chafer,
Anisorrhina flavomaculata, which we found pictured on ISpot.

Letter 8 – Scarab, but not Christmas Beetle, from Mexico

Subject: very large beetle
Location: puerto vallarta, mexico
December 16, 2013 3:17 pm
I found this beetle while on vacation in puerto vallarta mexico
We were there november 30 to december 7 2013
The beetle was dark brown in color and very large in size
Do you have any idea what this is ?
Thank you
Signature: jackie

NOT a Christmas Beetle with Christmas Lights
NOT a Christmas Beetle with Christmas Lights

Dear Jackie,
This is some species of Scarab Beetle in the family Scarabaeidae, but we cannot say for certain which species.  It reminds us of a female Rhinoceros Beetle in the subfamily Dynastinae.  One possibility might be a female
Megasoma nogueirae which is pictured on The Generic Guide to New World Scarab Beetles.  We love your photo with the Christmas Lights.  There is a group of Australian Scarabs which put in their yearly appearance around the holidays (Southern Hemisphere summer) that are known as Christmas Beetles.  While we fully realize your individual is not a Christmas Beetle, we were nonetheless reminded that we will most likely begin getting photos of that group from down under in the near future.

Letter 9 – Scarab Grub larger than human feet? or optical illusion?

large white grub
February 16, 2010
Hi, I found this bug at my parents house in Santa Monica, CA in the cement back yard. There is not much dirt around them although the house’s foundation sits directly on very sandy soil. It looks like a witchity grub (like the ones found in Australia) but I don’t think we have those in the U.S. Can you tell me what it is? Is it some kind of larvae.
Santa Monica, CA USA

Scarab Grub

Hi Alex,
That white Scarab Grub, probably a June Beetle, looks like it is bigger than a human foot, but it is really an optical illusion.

Letter 10 – Scarab: Strategus or Xyloryctes

Whats this bug?
My dogs went crazy when they saw this “little” guy flopping around on the porch. I’ve attached 2 pictures. I live in San Antonio, TX

Hi Christie,
We wanted to be more accurate with your scarab beetle, so we contacted Eric Eaton. He narrowed it down to two possible genuses. Here is what he has to say: “I’d suspect Strategus or Xyloryctes before Dynastes. The thorax of this specimen appears at least slightly concave, whereas in Dynastes it is smoothly convex. I’d probably have to compare the specimen to known specimens before I could ID conclusively, but can pretty much rule out Dynastes. Eric “

Letter 11 – Scoliid Wasp and Scarab Grub from Australia

What’s this bug???
We have been watching quite a few of these in our back yard but they never stop long enough to photograph until today when I watched one bury a big grub. They don’t appear to be aggressive but looks like some kind of wasp? (And no it is not dead in the second picture, it was actually burrowing a hole!) Would love some info. Thanks

Hi Maria,
Wow, what wonderful images of a Scoliid Wasp burying a Scarab Beetle Grub. We are not sure of the species and plan to immediately research this. We only wish you had provided us with a location. It looks like it might be the genus Scolia, but BugGuide does not show any solid black bodies. Scoliid Wasps are large, hairy, robust wasps that prey on Scarab Beetle Grubs. The female digs a burrow and buries the Grub, laying an egg. the wasp larva is an external parasite on the beetle grub. Adult Scoliid Wasps take nectar. Though he could not substantiate the species identification, Eric Eaton did provide the following natural history clarification: ” Daniel: I can’t tell you anything about the identification, but the life history needs clarification. Scoliid wasp females simply dig up a scarab grub, sting it into submission, lay a single egg on it, and maybe cover it up before fleeing the scene. The scarab grub can at least partially revive and go about its business, but is doomed….The adult female wasp does not prepare a burrow or anything, like most sphecid wasps, spider wasps, etc. Eric “

We live in Engadine, a southern suburb of Sydney, Australia

Letter 12 – Scooped Scarab

Rhino Beetle?
Location: Milwaukee, WI
June 27, 2011 4:20 pm
Mr. Bugman, I was referred to you when I asked my FB friends what this beetle is.
It was jumping around in my window sill here in Milwaukee, WI today (June 27, 2011).
Signature: Ryan

Scooped Scarab

Hi Ryan,
Not all Scarab Beetles with horns are Rhinoceros Beetles.  Your beetle is a Scooped Scarab,
Onthophagus hecate, one of the Dung Beetles.  According to BugGuide, the Scooped Scarab feeds on dung, rotting fruit and carrion.

Letter 13 – Splendid Earth Boring Dung Beetle

Subject:  Blue green beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Central NC USA
Date: 03/13/2021
Time: 03:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Looking for a name.
How you want your letter signed:  ?

Splendid Earth Boring Dung Beetle

We believe we have correctly identified your beetle as a Splendid Earth Boring Dung Beetle, Geotrupes splendidus, thanks to images posted to BugGuide.  According to BugGuide it is “Bright green, purplish black, or sometimes light blue. Pronotum coarsely, unevenly punctate. Elytral striae with distinct punctures.”

Splendid Earth Boring Dung Beetle

Letter 14 – Two Beautiful Scarabs from Sierra Leone

Subject: Beetle in Sierra Leone
Location: Sierra Leone
December 6, 2014 12:08 pm
I am out in Sierra Leone, living in Freetown at the moment and came across this beautiful beetle. My son Ethan would be over the moon if we can identify it.
Signature: C

Scarab Beetle
Scarab Beetle:  Pachnoda marginata

Subject: Beetle in Sierra Leone
Location: Sierra Leone
December 6, 2014 12:11 pm
I continue my insect hunt in Sierra Leone and would appreciate some help with identifying this bug

Scarab Beetle
Scarab Beetle:  Pachnoda chordata

Dear C,
Both of these are beautiful Scarab Beetles.  We believe we have identified the first as
Pachnoda marginata by matching your image to images on Shutterstock and Pinterest where it is called a Sunspot Beetle.  We also found it pictured on Bug Nation and our research shows much variation in the markings, so seeing a comparison of various subspecies on Beetlespace may prove interesting to you.  We believe your subspecies is Pachnoda marginata marginata and it is also pictured on BioLib where it is called a Sun BeetleBioLib lists the countries where this subspecies has been sighted as:  “Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone.”   We believe your second Scarab is Pachnoda chordata based on an image we located on FlickeR and then continued to research, eventually locating images on SAReptiles and BioLib where the country of origin is listed as Sierra Leone.  We also believe your subspecies is Pachnoda chordata chordata and BioLib expands the list of countries of the entire species as “Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal, Sierra Leone.”  If our research is correct, both of your beetles are in the same genus.

Letter 15 – Two Scarabs from Greece: White Spotted Rose Beetle

Subject: Two beetles from Greece
Location: Kos, Dodecanese, Greece
April 28, 2016 7:18 am
I hope it’s OK to submit two for the price of one, but they are on the same flower! I took this while birdwatching on Kos in the Aegean a couple of days ago (i.e. April 26th). There were lots of both species around, but particularly the stripy ones whose wing-cases seem to have shrunk in the wash.
Signature: Harry R

Two Scarabs
Two Scarabs

OK, I searched your site for ‘spotted scarab’ and the black and white one is clearly some species of Oxythyrea. I’d still like to know about the other one though!

Dear Harry,
We love your twofer.  Both of your beetles are Scarab Beetles, and we agree that the smaller is a White Spotted Rose Beetle in the genus
Oxythyrea.  We believe your other Scarab may be Eulasia vittata based on this Masterfile image.  There is also a nice image on and the image on Kaefer der Welt – Beetles of the World nicely illustrates the short elytra.

Letter 16 – Unknown Flower Scarab identified as Euphoria fascifera

What’s that (this) bug?
I’ve searched the Internet and have not been able to identify this beetle. I would appreciate your assistance in correctly identifying this insect. I found it in Tucson, Arizona early in the morning on July 8, 2006 on its back struggling to right itself. As my “fee” for rescuing it from death by baking in the Arizona sunshine, I moved it to a shadier location and took its picture.
Sam Rua
(I grant you permission to post this image on your web site)

Hi Sam,
A quick search of the Fruit and Flower Scarabs, Subfamily Cetoniinae, on BugGuide did not produce a match. Since Eric Eaton lives in Arizona, he will probably be able to identify the species. Check back with the website where we will post his answer. Here is what Eric wrote: “Daniel: You are right, but I don’t recognize it. I ‘never’ find the cool bugs here:-( Please try: Carl Olson at the U of A. He may well know it: Eric”

Update: (07/07/2008)
In the process of looking up images of cetoniines, I came across a photo on the What’s that bug website: Unknown Flower Scarab (07/08/2006) This is Euphoria fascifera, a species that apparently is associated with packrat burrows. One of our most attractive and distinctive US scarabs.
Doug Yanega

Letter 17 – Unknown Flower Scarabs from South Africa are Monkey Beetles

Bug orgy in yellow flower
Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 8:25 AM
Photographed in the Langeberg Range in South Africa in montane fynbos ecosystem. Photo is attached
Langeberg Range in South Africa

Flower Scarabs
Flower Scarabs

Hi Again Brett,
Thanks for the donation. As you may realize, we are a very small operation and we cannot post nor answer every letter that is submitted to our site. We believe these are some species of Flower Scarab in the tribe Trichiini or at least in the Subfamily Cetoniinae , but we don’t have access to many guides of South African insects, so exact identification is beyond our capabilities. You can search the North American BugGuide section on Trichiini to get additional information.

Wed, Jan 28, 2009 at 4:23 PM
Hi Daniel:
These look like Monkey Beetles (Scarabaeidae: Rutelinae: Hopliini), which occur almost exclusively in South Africa. They are pollen feeders and important pollinators. Atypically for beetles, Monkey Beetles are attracted to host flowers visually, not by scent, and they have co-evolved a very close relationship with a number of plant species. Many host plants rely almost exclusively on these beetles for pollination, in some cases on a single beetle species. Host flowers are typically bright yellow, orange or red and many have ‘beetle marks’, distinctive color marks that have been shown to attract Monkey Beetles. Many species are gregarious and aggregations (as in Brett’s photo) are common. As a group, Monkey Beetles are surprisingly diverse given their limited range, and I was not able to make a more precise identification. Regards.

Letter 18 – Unknown Green Scarab Beetle from Mexico

Subject:  Electric Green Beetle
Geographic location of the bug:  Cozumel Mexico
Date: 10/02/2018
Time: 10:38 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey guys!
I found this little guy (he’s one inch long from his face to his back end) on the sidewalk and was wondering what he is exactly.
I’ve never seen one so vibrant in person before.
How you want your letter signed:  Aaron Edgar

Unknown Scarab Beetle

Dear Aaron,
We have been trying intermittently, to identify your green Scarab Beetle for days, but the best we can do at this time is provide you with the family Scarabaeidae.  Though it superficially resembles the Green Fruit Beetle or Figeater, we do not believe your individual is in the same genus,
Cotinis.  Perhaps one of our readers will have better luck than we have had.

Unknown Scarab Beetle

Letter 19 – Unknown Scarab Beetle

Subject:  Beetle identification
Geographic location of the bug:  Georgia, USA
Date: 04/22/2019
Time: 12:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello! My name is Jessi and I’m doing a project in my photography course on bugs and I’m having trouble identifying this beetle, maybe you can help me? I found it in the morning at the beginning of april this year. Thank you!!
How you want your letter signed:  Jessica Yeszkonis

Unknown Scarab Beetle

Dear Jessi,
Since this is a photography course and not a biology course, perhaps you do not need species specificity.  This is a Scarab Beetle in the family Scarabaeidae, but we cannot provide a species name at this time.  You can try browsing BugGuide for some possibilities.

Scarab Beetle

Letter 20 – Unknown Scarab Beetle from France is Pine Chafer

Rhinocerous beetle? in France
July 22, 2009
We found this in our garden in south west France – which is in a wood next to a river – it flew hard into a window one evening and lay around for the next day looking a bit stunned. As you can see it wouldn’t let go of my husband’s shirt and he had to take it off with the bug still attached. He said it was making a ‘pht’ sound – is that likely? She’s still alive in these photos.
Anyway, after lots of looking on your site it seems to be a female rhinocerous beetle of some kind? Is that right? She was about 4cm (an inch and a half) long.
Ceret, south west France

Unknown Scarab from France
Pine Chafer from France

Dear Sue,
Your beetle is not a Rhinoceros Beetle, but it is a Scarab Beetle, the same family as a Rhinoceros Beetle.  We believe your beetle is a Fruit and Flower Chafer in the subfamily Cetoniinae, but we have not had any luck web searching with that information.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide an answer.  Karl are you out there?

Unknown Scarab from France
Pine Chafer from France

Hi everybody,
I live in Turkey and we call those ‘May Bug’. This is from genus of ‘Polyphylla’ and can be ‘Polyphylla fullo’. They horrifies some people because they sound ’ssssssss’ when you close’em.

Ed. Note:
A web search of Polyphylla fullo produced a photo that matches the one submitted.  We are inclined to agree that we misidentified the Scarab and that is is in reality a June Beetle. The Forestry Images website calls this species a Pine Chafer.  We also found additional photos of this beetle feeding on pine.

Karl also comes through
Hi Daniel:
The scarab from France is in the family Melolonthidae, which is sometimes listed as a subfamily of Scarabaeidae, depending on which taxonomic system you choose. The genus is Polyphylla and, although there are probably at least a few similar species, it looks very close to P. fullo.  Common names given include June Beetle and Pine Chafer; one reference indicated that the larvae attack the roots of hazelnut. The base color varies between brown and black and the individual in Sue’s photo is a female, since it lacks the prominent pectinate antennae. Regards.

Letter 21 – Unknown Scarab Beetle from Madagascar: Pantolia flavomarginata

Subject: Madagascar Beetle sp.
Location: Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Madagascar
March 10, 2013 5:22 pm
I wonder if you can help me ID this beetle?! I’ve searched the internet with out any luck. 🙁 I think it was some 3 cm long.
Signature: Kristian

Unknown Scarab
Unknown Scarab

Hi again Kristian,
This is some member of the Scarab Beetle family Scarabidae, but we haven’t had any luck with an actual species identification.

Update:  Thanks to Cesar Crash who identified Pantolia flavomarginata.

Letter 22 – Unknown Scarab Beetle from Tasmania

Black & Red Water Bug?
January 4, 2010
These guys only seem to surface at this time of year (Summer). They fly (rather poorly) and seem to be seriously attracted to water. Pretty much always find their way to the sink, shower floor or cats water bowl. Also only seem to see them at night. Heaps of them in the house at the moment. Fairly small, about the size of a 5 cent coin.
Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

Unknown Scarab Beetle from Tasmania
Unknown Scarab Beetle from Tasmania

Dear Jason,
This is not a Water Bug, but rather, some species of Scarab Beetle.  We do not believe the beetles are being attracted to the water.  We believe they are accidentally flying into the water and cannot get out.  We wish your photo was of a higher quality, but as it is, the markings on your beetle seem rather distinctive.  We have had no luck matching it to anything online, including the Scarabaeidae Insect Gallery page on the LifeUnseen website.

Letter 23 – Unknown Scarab from Greece

weird scarabeid
Sun, Dec 7, 2008 at 8:34 AM
found in paros island,greece ,at night ,while we were eating,it was attracted by our lamps.
Paros island,greece

Unknown Scarab from Greece
Unknown Scarab from Greece

Hi Leo,
Your Scarab Beetle looks to us like it is one of the Dung Beetles in the Subfamily Scarabaeinae, but once again, we would like to hear from a specialist to confirm this and perhaps provide a genus and species.

Unknown Scarab from Greece
Unknown Scarab from Greece

Letter 24 – Unknown Scarab from Ontario is Osmoderma species

Unknown Beetle
Hi Bugman…need some help on this one. This beetle was about 3/4″ long and living in a large hole in the side of a tree. My first impression was that it was a scarab beetle but I’m not sure. Found it in Southern Ontario. Thanks
Tom Rook

Hi Tom,
We agree with Scarabaeidae for the family, but we need additional time, and help from Eric Eaton, to go any further in the identification. We will post your image and hopefully get you an answer. Here is Eric’s response: “Daniel: Good job just to recognize it as a scarab! It is an odd one. The genus is Osmoderma, but I can’t make out the species. It would either be Osmoderma eremicola, or Osmoderma scabra. The latter is smaller, with textured wing covers. The former is larger, with smooth wing covers. Eric”


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34 thoughts on “How to Get Rid of Dung Beetles: Quick and Effective Solutions”

  1. Hi everybody,
    I live in Turkey and we call those ‘May Bug’. This is from genus of ‘Polyphylla’ and can be ‘Polyphylla fullo’. They horrifies some people because they sound ‘ssssssss’ when you close’em.

  2. This is a species of Phyllotocus (Scarabaeridae: Melolonthinae). Need more time to check identity from Tasmania. The adults often swarm in summer on flowers and may be attracted by sugar/honey solutions.

    Best regards, Trevor

  3. Could it be a Cetonid beetle? Many cetonids have such spots. Some from genus Protaetia have such symmetrical spots..

  4. I just found the same black osmodera scarab on my back porch in southern new York about 8 miles from penn. border! Is that normal??

    • Thanks Karen,
      We wrote to Eric Eaton to get his opinion. Something about the shape of the submitted Scarab seems very different than the Bumble Bee Scarab, which we did consider. We didn’t want to post that until we got a second opinion, but it is our first choice as well.

  5. I have a red beetle with long black legs and antennae. the head is separate from the body and is about one cm. in length not counting his legs etc.

    Can you identify him for me. I have found five in my wooden house in south west france.

  6. I have a red beetle with long black legs and antennae. the head is separate from the body and is about one cm. in length not counting his legs etc.

    Can you identify him for me. I have found five in my wooden house in south west france.

  7. Dude, I think it might be a hermit flower beetle. They live on trees and feed on dead tree debris. I found one similar to your description just today in Southern Ontario!

  8. Hello! This is Michaela, one of the people who submitted this beetle. We think we have found what it is! It seems to be a Phyllophaga crenulata! This one just seemed to be exceptionally fuzzy. It doesn’t have a common name. Madde has dubbed it “fuzzbutt beetle”

    • Thanks Cesar. The images seem to lack the brown edge on the elytra that is often found on Cotinis species. I’m not seeing any images online in genus Allorhina that look close. Have you any links to share?


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