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Version 0.31: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
Infestation.png Infestation
Level 8
School1 Necromancy
Source(s) Book of Death
Casting noise 8
Spell noise 4
Power Cap 200
Range LOS
Hated By Elyvilon
The Shining One
Flags Target, Unclean
Calls forth a plague of scarabs, infesting affected creatures for a duration depending on power and causing death scarabs to grow and burst from them upon death.

Infestation is a level 8 Necromancy spell that applies the Infested status to monsters in a 5x5 area. A friendly death scarab erupts out of each victim that dies.

Infestation can be obtained as part of Kikubaaqudgha's 6* piety gift.

Useful Info

Applies the Infested status to monsters within a smite-targeted 5x5 area. You can infest monsters from outside line of sight. Any infested monster which dies will turn into a death scarab. Monster holiness does not matter; undead, demonic, and non-living monsters can all be infested. Only monsters worth XP, or monsters created by Kikubaaqudgha's Unearth Wretches ability, can be infested.

Scarabs' strength and duration does not scale with spellpower. Scarabs aren't derived undead, so it does not scale with the host's strength, either. Scarabs last for around 81 turns.[1]

Infestation takes priority over all other undead-creating Necromancy spells. It can work alongside Death Channel, but overrides other effects. It even takes priority over Gozag's gold touch and Yredelemnul's reaping (scarabs replace gold / zombies, respectively).


Death scarabs are great allies; they are very fast, slow down enemies, are undead, and deal great damage. They also last for a fairly long time, letting you Infest new monsters you encounter. Compared to other undead-creating spells, Infestation has the advantage of working on undead, demonic, and non-living monsters.

Infest the weaker monsters in a crowd and kill them quickly in order to spawn a bunch of scarabs. Use spells like Borgnjor's Vile Clutch, Haunt, and Anguish (when combined with other, existing undead) to start the horde.

Tips & Tricks

  • Kiku's Unearth Wretches places necromantic fodder in a 5x5 area, which corresponds perfectly to Infestation's radius. You can use Unearth Wretches twice, then Infestation on top of the player character. This is bound to create a large swarm, capable of tackling the game's most dangerous encounters.
  • Death scarabs cannot see invisible - a notable weakness considering the prevalence of Invisibility-casting liches in the late game.


  • Prior to 0.29, scarabs worked alongside all other undead-creating spells.
  • Prior to 0.26, scarabs had a duration class of 6 (~171 turns).
  • This spell was added in 0.19.


  1. (0.31.0)
    * A summon duration of 5 is about 81 turns.