Friday, 28 March 2014

Attracting beetles

A Mrs Trellis of North Wales has written: 

"Dear Kate Humble, 
                            I have been trying to attract beetles into my garden with no success. Please advise."

Well Mrs Trellis, as it happens there is exciting news on this front. Working at Royal Holloway, University of London, Dr Deborah Harvey has found that powdered ginger can be of help.

The problem for Dr Harvey concerned Stag Beetles. In an attempt to attract this priority species a number of potential baits were used, and ginger turned out to be highly effective. Ginger contains alpha copaene, a chemical that will attract not just Stag Beetles but a range of interesting insects, including other beetle species.

I certainly intend to give it a try. Around Byfield it is very unlikely that Stag Beetles occur, but other beetles may turn up. Watch this space.

Female Stag Beetle photographed by me at
West Cowes, Isle of Wight. June, 2013


The introduction will be enigmatic for anyone not a fan of "Sorry, I haven't a clue".

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