Will they kill the grass by eating the roots? We have dogs and the beetle we find are under the dung but the grass in the yard in dying in patches and when the dead grass is removed there are no roots left. Also what can be done to get rid of them in the yard that is safe for other animals and children?
Hister beetle larvae can in fact damage plants because they’ll actively feed on it. But my guess is the ones you have are mostly targeting the dung in your yard because hister beetles love to eat fly maggots and other organisms commonly found in animal dung.
Hister beetles are round, black, shiny beetles that feed on other insects and plants like grass. Adults will find where other insects are thriving and populous. Animal feces is a great place for a lot of insects to congregate so hister beetles are commonly found in dung. And once they find a good food location, they’ll mate and start laying eggs.
Hister beetle larvae will then hatch from these eggs and immediately begin to feed on dead insects and other organic matter found in animal feces and the surrounding plant life (like your grass). So when you allow dog or other animal droppings to linger in the yard, there is a good chance some hister beetles will show up at some point.
To control hister beetles, you should first remove all the animal dung you find. Next, you should get a PH METER and test the soil. Anywhere animals are allowed to urinate or leave feces will naturally become acidic and I wouldn’t be surprised if your yard has some really low sections that will need to be adjusted prior to doing any treatment. Now if the soil in which your grass is growing is measured as being too acidic, the grass will start to die and based on your question, it sounds like you have this happening right now.
So if you find the soil has a PH that’s 6.5 or less, you’ll need to start raising the PH immediately as explained in our PH Control article here:
Soil PH: http://www.soil-ph.com/soil-ph
Once the PH is 6.5 or higher, you can start in on controlling the hister beetles. But remember that insecticides won’t work well when the PH is below 6.5 so don’t waste your time or money by applying any till you know the PH is at a proper level.
Once you’re ready to treat, remove all the pets and kids from the yard and plan on keeping them off the grass for at least 1 hour. Apply CYONARA RTS throughout the grass and allow it to dry for one hour before letting anyone back. Cyonara is safe for use around kids and pets and once dry will not pose any kind of hazard. Treatments will work immediately and in most cases any beetles in the yard will be dead by the next day. Repeat every 2-4 weeks to keep the beetles away for good and since Cyonara will control gnats, mosquitoes, fleas and ticks, it’s a good all around spray for any yard that has kids and pets active.
Now if you would like something organic, go with the BUG PATROL. Made with all natural ingredients, Bug Patrol won’t be as long lasting as the Cyonara but it’s approved for organic gardening which for some people is important. Expect to treat every 1-2 weeks with this material to keep hister beetles under control.