Biology and control of the lesser mealworm: Alphitobius diaperinus, a structural pest in poultry houses
Vaughan, Jefferson Archer
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Late instar larval Alphitobius diaperinus initiated tunneling damage to polystyrene insulation in search of protected pupation sites. Adult females oviposited upon the surface of the styrofoam but early instar larvae left the styrofoam soon after hatching. Within twenty days, large numbers of adults moved into the styrofoam, expanding the tunnels and depreciating the panels' suitability as pupation sites for the late instar larvae. No oviposition occurred within the tunnels. All lifestages of Alphitobius diaperinus were found to be cannibalistic. Although preliminary tests show that adult mealworms will consume house fly late instar larvae and prepupae, no significant predation of the house fly by A. diaperinus could be detected under simulated natural conditions at the population density tested. Wettable powder formulations of permethrin and carbaryl when sprayed upon styrofoam were comparable in residual activity. Residual activity of both compounds was less when applied to unpainted plywood. The emulsifiable concentrate formulation of permethrin proved to be ineffective. Regression slopes from topical application studies reveal that tetrachlorvinphos may be the material of choice against A. diaperinus because there is less chance of the lesser mealworm developing resistance to tetrachlorvinphos than with either permethrin or carbaryl. Tetrachlorvinphos also showed longer residual effectiveness against A. diaperinus as a surface spray on styrofoam and plywood than did permethrin or carbaryl.
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