Litter beetles (alphitobius diaperinus) are common pests in poultry houses and are well known for eating feed, disturbing chickens, harboring diseases (Salmonella sp. for example) and causing damage to the housing.
If the infestation in the house is heavy enough, beetles are even known to kill weakened chickens in their search for moisture and food.
Litter beetles are nocturnal insects, have no natural enemies in the environment, and because of their long association with birds are attracted to ammonia.
In adition to directly affecting the birds, beetles can cause significant damage to houses – it is common for them to do damage to wood and insulation while searching for food and place to pupate.
|Latin name:||Alphitobius diaperinus|
|Length:||Adults length is approximately 5,8-6,3 mm while eggs are 1,5 mm in length|
|Colour & description:||Adults are broadly oval, black or brownish black and usually shiny in appearance (color can be variable, depending on age). Eggs are creamy white to tan coloured.|
|Habits & habitat:||Can be found in all type of structures, usually in walls. Larvae can drill holes in styrofoam, fiberglass, and polystyrene insulation panels.|
|Life cycle:||40-80 days under normal conditions, female beetle has the potential to lay over 2,000 eggs (on average 200-400)|