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Old 12-25-2009, 03:18 PM
 
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My new to me house has bugs turning the yard into a moonscape with the mounds they build, over 30 of them just since yesterday.

The original owner of this property told me they were mole crickets. I sprayed the mounds and immediate areas with insecticide mixed with dish detergent. I don't see mole crickets coming up. Instead I'm finding beetles which I think might be dung beetles.

When I wash the mounds away, there's a round hole in the ground, a good 1/2 inch in diameter or larger (seems big for a cricket but I don't know).

Can anyone identify these creatures (the beetle and also the mounds if not beetle-built) and advise me on treatment (if any is needed at all)? My intent is not to have a lawn (though I'll have one until the garden fills in) but to grow a jungle-type garden with some open areas and other areas set aside for farming vegetables and fruit trees.

http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy30/housingcrashsurvivor/IMG_0744_1.jpg (broken link)


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy30/housingcrashsurvivor/IMG_0743_1.jpg (broken link)


http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy30/housingcrashsurvivor/IMG_0748_1.jpg (broken link)



http://i774.photobucket.com/albums/yy30/housingcrashsurvivor/IMG_0725_1.jpg (broken link)
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Tampa
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you can take your pictures and show them to someone in the garden section of either Home Depot or Lowes. They usually have someone who knows these things. I live near the Tampa Palms Lowes and there is a man who knows a lot about these things and have advised me on various lawn treatments.

Last edited by annaegel; 12-25-2009 at 03:53 PM..
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Old 12-25-2009, 03:52 PM
 
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I've seen a type of bee make those sandy mounds with a little tunnel. I wouldn't worry about it. Usually if it is a problem pest, there is a natural predator which will control it.
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Old 12-25-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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Thank you both. Don't think it is bees as I haven't seen any flying nearby. Plus that's a lot of dirt for a bee to move, unless maybe if he was a very busy bee who operates a steam shovel. Checking with gardener is a good idea. Maybe I'll check with the agricultural extension service. Looks like there's an office in Sefner. Hopefully I can just email them the pix.

If anyone has more info, would love to hear it. Thanx.
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Old 12-25-2009, 06:55 PM
 
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FYI, I've been a horticulturist in S. Fla. for 36+ years. I've seen a native solitary bee which makes this sort of mound. Perhaps something else is going on in your yard.......
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Old 12-25-2009, 07:01 PM
 
Location: N.H Gods Country
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Rhinorsarus Beetle (not sure of the spelling).
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Old 12-25-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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Thanx again for responses. Plantlover, good to have a horticulturist aboard. If you don't mind I might have questions for you in the future as I'm new to this 9a zone (having just relocated from 10/11 south Florida). I didn't think it bees because I've never seen them during the day and most of the work seems to be done at night. I understand that mole crickets are nocturnal. I do not know the habits of beetles. Tonight I sprayed an area with just soapy water and waited around for something to surface but nothing did. I think they are onto me. I may have to build a blind to catch them in the act. Certainly if they are bees I do not want to be using insecticide on them. My main concern is that they might be crickets which I understand can be quite destructive.

Ken, thanx but from pics I checked out online it doesn't look like a rhino. I found some more in the lawn earlier. Still think they look like dung beetles. They look like this guy I found on the web...

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Old 12-26-2009, 01:23 AM
 
Location: Hernando County, FL
8,488 posts, read 18,665,852 times
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If the mounds are in rows it could be a pocket gopher.

Quote:
The Southeastern Pocket Gopher, Geomys pinetis, is found in areas of sandy soil from central Florida northward. It is light or reddish brown with a tan or buff underside. Its 3-3.5"-long tail is hairless. It reaches a length of 9-12" overall.

Also called the "salamander" and "sandy mounder", it lives underground in a extensive network of tunnels which can be up to 500 feet long. As it digs, it pushes the soil to the surface, creating a row of sand mounds. It eats roots, tubers, especially those of Bahia grass, and bulbs.
NSiS: Florida Wildlife - Pocket Gopher
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Old 12-26-2009, 06:02 AM
 
Location: N.H Gods Country
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The mound is to small for a pocket gopher.I was told by a lawn care co. in Spring Hill that they were Rhino Beetles.
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Old 12-26-2009, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Tampa
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The extension office is a great idea. It is really easy to get to. From I-75 south, get onto route 4 east. Take the first exit (exit 10) and make a right (Mango Rd). Follow Mango Rd past the first light (Hillsborough Ave) and it is on the left about 1/4 to 1/2 mile down. They have a lovely garden you can stroll around. They have information you can take home. They also have parenting classes. The woman the teaches those is very nice. They have volunteer master gardeners who are usually there at the center. However because they are volunteers, it all depends if there is a volunteer master gardener that day and they may be at lunch. Perhaps you can call ahead of time to see if one is there. 5339 County Rd (AKA Mango Rd), Seffner
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