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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated 22 October 2020 5:01pm

Are dung beetles suited to beef, lamb, dairy, or other farm types?

Non-native dung beetles are suitable for all livestock farm types.

Is it safe to introduce non-native species?

MPI’s Sustainable Farming Fund undertook years of research into the risks, costs, and benefits of introducing dung beetles to New Zealand. The findings were then submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, who gave approval for their introduction.

Dung Beetle Innovation’s website says this: “Exhaustive research, presentations, negotiations, and workshops were conducted in order to satisfy the concerns of all stakeholders: government, EPA (formerly ERMA), upholds approval, iwi, farmers, environmentalists, academics and the general public.”

More research to support the introduction of non-native dung beetles can be found on their website and research supporting the benefits can be found here.

Should I do anything to prepare before receiving a package of dung beetles?

Before you seed your farm with a colony there are some management practices that are recommended to be carried out 24-48 hours before receiving your package. Information can be found on the Dung Beetle Innovations website.

How long before I can see results?

There can be no guarantees when it comes to nature. There are many factors at play when you release dung beetles onto your land, including things like drench type and frequency of use, soil conditions, seasonal conditions, dung quality and quantity.

Under ideal conditions you can expect to see something along the lines of:

1-3 years 4-6 years 9-11 years
The average time taken for all species permitted to be in New Zealand to establish at a site after release. Noticeable environmental and economic benefits. Once established beetles breed rapidly. Full carrying capacity is usually reached at this time, when the dung beetles are functioning optimally with the quantity of dung available.

How can I encourage the dung beetles to establish on my land?

There are top tips available on the Dung Beetle Innovations website. These mostly relate to limiting the exposure the beetles have to harmful chemicals.

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