Dung beetles

We never understood why dung beetles, the rollers, weren’t prevalent in suburban environments where they could take care of dog poop on the grass and cat poop in the flower beds. We knew they’d be nice to have in this environment because they roll up and bury the dung, which improves the soil and keeps everything sanitary. It turns out there were two reasons. First, the true dung beetle liked warmer weather, in general, but it was easy for us to fix their intolerance of cold. Second, cats and dogs didn’t poop poop that they liked very much. Rather than modifying our pets’ poop, we modified the beetle’s preferences and their ability to handle more acidic fecal material. In our experimental trials, some suburbanites didn’t like that they had to reserve a place in their yards as a beetle bed, a place where the dung beetles could bury their balls, so we trained our beetles to use city planting strips.