When we talked about composting pet waste, Offbeat Homie Maria told us how she used dung beetles in her backyard to keep her dog’s poop in check. Of course we were all very intrigued, so Maria was kind enough to let us in on the dung beetle details. Including some other brilliant backyard hacks thought up by her gardening genius late husband…
My late husband Eric was an amazing, enlightened man. I am not sure where he bought the dung beetles, but he ordered them online. He most likely googled the heck out of the best source in the USA for them. A quick search and came up with DungBeetles.biz. We had three dogs (including a rescued former racing greyhound) and a huge fenced-in yard.
The dung beetles worked well from the very first day we released them into the backyard from their shipping box — we didn’t have to train them to do what comes naturally. They stuck around the backyard since that was where they found all of the dog poo. They never bothered the dogs, and the dogs seemed to be uninterested in them.
Of course, living in Central Florida meant that we could keep them for years without snow/ice killing the beetles. And it would freak me out sometimes when I would catch a glimpse of the beetles in action — so strange. But again, not shoveling = faaaaaabulous!
Eric was an innovator with our gardening. He studied xeriscaping and I learned a great deal about plants from him. Including planting citronella plants near the back door where the dogs would wait to come into the house. Their wagging tails released the citronella’s mosquito repellant into the air without harming the dogs.
Eric was only a few classes short of his master’s in environmental engineering (and he had taught himself to play the cello) when he passed away from a primary malignant brain tumor. I hope that some of you can get some wisdom from Eric that’ll make you smile when you’re in your garden.
Do you have any clever backyard hacks to share when it comes to your pets?