Poultry Litter Beetle: Silent Killers

Litter beetles are those dark beetles you find in poultry houses, most especially in deep litter houses. They normally hide under everything – drinkers, feeders, stones, laying boxes that are on the floor, along the walls etc. In my early days of raising chickens, I totally ignore these beetles because I thought they were harmless. But are they harmless? They are VERY harmful!

Litter beetles

 

Litter beetles eat chicken feed, their larvae bore into insulations, woods etc, they climb into poultry feathers and bite them, sometimes killing weakened chickens and worst of all, they can carry a lot of poultry diseases!

 

The scientific name for these little destroyers is Alphitobius diaperinus. Locally, they can also be called darkling beetles, lesser mealworm, black beetles etc. They cause more problems in houses where the litter is allowed to build up without any effective control program in place.


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