The lesser mealworm beetle

Latin: Alphitobius diaperinus.
This beetle is an elongated, oval beetle. It is 5-6 mm, brown black and shiny. The lesser mealworm beetle originates from the tropics and can be found as it eats mould from very damps cereals, flour and feed residues. It had its first chance to form large populations when we began feeding chickens in large chicken coops with litter in which manure accumulates for a long time. It performs the important piece of work it is to reduce fertilizer volume and it also reduces the amount of fly larvae. In laboratory tests it has been possible to show that the lesser mealworm beetle can be a vector for the poultry disease “Marek’s disease,” but it is uncertain whether it is relevant under practical conditions. The lesser mealworm beetle acts as a food pest in connection with the slaughter of chickens. Prior to the slaughter, the chickens are without food for a short period of time. This means that they eat a lot of beetles and beetle larvae. Some of them are probably still alive when the chickens are slaughtered. They make their way out and may end up in the parts of the chickens that are sent to consumers. There is no harm in eating a lesser mealworm beetle. The lesser mealworm beetle is very sensitive to cold. One day at – 1 ° C will kill all stages of this beetle.