Development of Alternative Darkling Beetle Management Strategies for Poultry Producers in the Northeast
Rutz, Donald; Kaufman, Phillip; Waldron, Keith; Murray, Kathy
The darkling beetle and other litter beetles have emerged in recent decades as the most important arthropod pests of poultry production worldwide. The beetles are vectors of human and animal pathogens, cause costly damage to production facilities, and create public health/nuisance problems when they emigrate from farms or from land on which infested manure has been spread. The beetles are difficult to control with pesticides, of which only a few are available. The removal of any of the handful of remaining products registered for beetle control could create a crisis for the U.S. poultry industry. Using a multi-state project (New York and Maine) we will deliver critically needed management solutions to U.S. poultry producers. In Objective 1, the relative susceptibility of beetles to pesticides registered for their control will be documented from multiple populations. This information will be used to identify developing resistance problems and to determine the status of future beetle control after removal of organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. In Objectives 2 and 3, we will evaluate manure handling/management strategies (composting, tarping, and soil incorporation) that some producers are already employing as alternatives to pesticides. These proposed solutions are cost-effective and easily incorporated into existing production systems. We anticipate that implementation, facilitated through proposed Extension outreach activities and web site development would be rapid and widespread.
New York State IPM Program
Agricultural IPM; Poultry; Livestock; Communication