Deciphering poo

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Recently, I've seen small hills of round mushy 'pebbles' scattered around the property. For a while, I thought it could have been made by the Egyptian dung beetle, also known as scarabs.

The sacred scarab or kheper of ancient Egypt was the dung beetle, an insect that lives off the waste of herbivorous animals. It was seen as an incarnation of the sun god Khepri, and its name was part of many royal monikers, including Men-kheper-re and Kheper-ka-re.

These beetles were accidentally transported to Australia over 100 years ago and can be found throughout South Australia. To learn more, click here.

After doing more research, though, we have confirmed that it is actually a toileting area for bunnies. Thankfully, the property is kept in balance with predatory birds, snakes, and foxes who will keep their numbers in check.

These adorable little creatures are decimating our veggie patch, just like the old Bugs Bunny cartoons, so I've just purchased a large bag of ground chili peppers. I read recently that they don't like chili, so before I plant any more herbs and veggies, I'll ensure the area has a dusting of chili around each plant. I'll report back on how it goes.

I never thought I'd be interested in poo, but when we moved onto acreage, it became a conversation topic around the house. By identifying poo, we discovered that we had a family of foxes living nearby. Normally when we see fresh koala poo, all we need to do is look in the tree above to see the koala. Even though we no longer see the possums on our property, we can see their evidence.

The South Australian government has a page on identifying poo on your property. We've found this very helpful. Your guide to identifying animal poo - Good Living (

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