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Old 12-27-2009, 11:28 AM
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Update: This is quickly getting out of control. Since I started this thread until today there are about 100 new mounds (was hard to count as there are so many). Mounds are not lined up and definitely not gophers as the mounds are pretty large but not that big. The pattern is random. Will check with extension service tomorrow. Here is latest picture of the destruction...

http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy30/housingcrashsurvivor/lawnmounds_1.jpg (broken link)
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Old 12-27-2009, 12:16 PM
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Happy to help you any way I can.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:39 AM
Location: anywhere
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I have had those same darn mounds and the same bug you showed in my yard lately and couldn't figure out what the heck they are or how to get rid of them.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:28 AM
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Sorry to hear it Kathleen1971. I'm glad to learn it is not the very destructive mole cricket which the original owner of this house had told me it was. I still am researching what damage the beetles do. For now I am using insecticide and watering it in to hopefully get this under control. I'd rather not poison as eventually I want to do a vegie garden but maybe that will have to wait for next year, after a year of rain washes the poison away some. I'm spraying only directly on the mounds and a few feet around them to minimize spraying.

A neighbor told me these are beetles that live underground and only come up to create the mounds in winter. I need to confirm that with experts, however.

Apparently the problem is somewhat localized, not terribly wide-spread so maybe it can be controlled. Walking around the neighborhood it only seems to be a problem in just my immediate area. A block away I don't find the mounds on neighbors' lawns. There is one empty lot near me, almost an acre, that is covered in mounds so I fear that will be a continuing cause of this problem, even if I could get the local residents to mount an attack of the mound builders on their own properties.

I'll post more on the subject as I learn better what to do about this, if anything needs be done at all. If I learn the insects are not terribly destructive, maybe I'll just hose the mounds down and leave it at that.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:12 AM
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Update: According to the good people at whatsthatbug.com "We believe this is a Florida Deepdigger Scarab Beetle, Peltotrupes profundus, a species of Earth Boring Dung Beetle." They are working to confirm that.

They referred me to the BugGuide where I found Beetles - Peltotrupes profundus - BugGuide.Net.

Also they gave me this site: Soil Mixing by Scarab Beetles and Pocket Gophers in North-Central Florida -- Kalisz and Stone 48 (1): 169 -- Soil Science Society of America Journal (http://soil.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/48/1/169 - broken link).
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:24 AM
Location: anywhere
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Thanks for the info. I am almost embarassed to admit that when I first saw the mounds I thought one of my dogs had been barfing again lol. Now I kind of wish it was dog vomit!

I will say this and it may sound strange but the beetles themselves are really kind of pretty. The colors on their backs are very bright and irridesecent. So far I have only seen dead ones though. I suspect my dogs may be killing them.
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Old 12-30-2009, 10:43 AM
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Dog barf, very funny.

I just found another site with lots of info on these guys Guide to the Genera of New World Pleurostict Scarab Beetles

You are so right on the coloration, especially when light shines on them just right. If you do an image search on scarab beetle you'll see they can be so colorful that they are used as jewelry and other types of decoration. Some people even keep them as pets. You're also right about other animals killing them though as I found one last night which had lost its head.

I'm still trying to determine how destructive they might be as they seem in part beneficial because they break down dead vegetation, clean up animal feces, etc., but also I think they munch on roots which can cause serious vegetation damage. One of the sites I checked out mentions that these are supposedly rare so now I'm having mixed emotions on ridding my property of them.

Maybe I'll just try to control them out back where I'll be doing my vegie garden but let them live rent-free in the front yard.
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Old 12-31-2009, 09:07 AM
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Final update: Good News! And good lesson to think (& investigate) before acting. No more insecticide for which I am no better but only poorer.

I received today the following response from Paul E. Skelley, Collections Manager Florida State Collection of Arthropods.

It is Peltotrupes profudus making the mounds. As a new commer to Florida, I am not surprised by Mr. 'Bugged' concerns. We get his exact questions several times every year.

The short answer they are really no problem at all. The mounding is temporary, and actually benefitial to the type of grasses we must grow in Florida. As with many related beetles, Peltotrupes is somewhat colonial. Where you find one, you may find many, and yet, none across the road. Some of this may have to do with their habits of provisioning their burrows with dead plant matter, acorns, etc. In fact, I believe there is a study or two that link these beetles with oaks and deep sand. I have never heard of any case of these beetles actually damaging a lawn or garden plants. Their eye-sore, nuisance mounds are easily knocked over and are washed away with a couple rains. Golf course grounds people will argue about the mounds being a problem, but the beetles pose no other problems that we are aware of.

As for control, I would not waste my time or money. The mound is spoils of a narrow burrow that goes straight down. These burrows are known to be 10 ft. deep and there is no way to put enough pesticide in the soil to kill the larvae in the bottom of the burrows. For a bit of fun, if you can quickly scrape the mound away and find an open burrow, then take a straight grass stalk or other long thin object and stick it down the hole. I occasionaly do this with my kids and have seen 3 ft. grass stalks simply disappear down the hole.

Inspite of them being hard to kill with pesticides, habitat destruction and mis-management are destroying many populations of these beetles. Plus, I have not seen them in heavily managed - irrigated lawns and suspect these yards do not provide the conditions or food needed for the beetles.

This is a non-pestiferous endemic part of native Florida, Mr. Bugged should be proud to have such an interesting insect in his yard. I wish I had them where I lived, but I live in an area with more clay in the soils.
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:54 PM
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I know this forum goes back a number of years but I am hoping someone will see this. We have all of a sudden starting getting these beetles and their mounds. Really wouldn't care except... our little 8 month old mini dachshund puppy keeps finding them and eating them. We are doing everything we can to stop this but... she seems to find them. I have searched high and low and can't find out whether they are poisonous or not to animals. Can anyone help us? thanks
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:33 AM
Location: Tampa
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can you trap one, put in a clear jar and bring it to a garden center (Lowes or Home Depot or independent garden center)? Or bring it to your extension service.
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