Doodlebug – Identification

Q: We have noticed small cones in the sand underneath our mulberry trees. Do you have any ideas as to what is making these or if they will be harmful to the trees?

A: Don’t tell me you’ve never played with doodlebugs!! Also called antlions, these insects burrow into dry, sandy soil, making a conical depression. When an ant happens past, it falls into the pit and can’t escape, making an nice meal for the antlion. They are called doodlebugs because the creature makes a meandering track as it crawls across dry sand looking for a place to dig its pit.

And as countless children have learned to say while trying to capture them:

Doodle Bug, Doodle Bug, fly away home. Your house is on fire and your kids are all gone.

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