shutterstock 40147579Description:

The lesser mealworm or Litter Beetle (Panzer), is general stored products pest of particular importance as a vector and competent reservoir of several poultry pathogens and parasites. It can also cause damage to poultry housing and is suspected to be a health risk to humans in close contact with larvae and adults. Adults can become a nuisance when they move en masse toward artificial lights generated by residences near fields where beetle-infested manure has been spread inhabits poultry droppings and litter and is considered a significant pest in the poultry industry.

 

Appearance:

Adults are 1/4"" long. Newly moulted adults are reddish-brown turning black. Larvae is 5/16"" long. Segmented and looks like worm with three pairs of tiny legs on the thorax and one abdominal proleg at the rear.

 

Lifecycle:

Females lay up to at least 110 eggs a month and eggs hatch in 4-7 days. Larval development takes up to 7 weeks. Mature larvae seek a sheltered place to pupate for between 7 and 11 days. An adult beetle may live up to two years.

 

Habits:

The beetles are attracted to poultry operations, which have ideal conditions for their development. The damage to insulation is carried out by lesser mealworms seeking a safe place to pupate because the darkling beetles prey on the lesser mealworms.

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