In North America, most members of this family feed on roots and leaves, or on excrement. There are, however, numerous exceptions, such as scarabs that eat pollen, dried-out animal carcasses, fungi, rotting wood etc. Most grubs are decomposers.
The grubs of some scarab species that feed on roots, particularly June bug grubs, can cause serious damage to lawns and crops. Some adult scarabs can also completely strip a tree of leaves or eat cultivated fruit.
Dung beetles (which feed on excrement) have developed all sorts of strategies to protect their food source from other insects, such as flies and other beetles. Some shape the dung into a ball that they roll to a safe place, while others dig their burrow directly beneath their food source.
Certain scarab species in the tropics and in North America have prominent horns on their head or pronotum (the part just behind the head). It was once believed that these horns were intended to attract females, but we now know that they are often used to spar with other male beetles.