Darkling beetle infestation?

Talon830

In the Brooder
6 Years
Nov 18, 2013
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I am considering raising mealworms. Should I have any concerns of causing a darkling beetle infestation in my garden/yard if some beetles would happen to escape? T
 

dheltzel

Crowing
6 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,597
1,488
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Pottstown, PA
Darkling beetles, aka mealworms, are vey habitat specific. They can infest dry rooms where feed is stored, but are not that hard to control, and could be considered "enrichment" of the feed (that's why yo uare getting them in the first place, right). They can't survive at all in moist areas, so you will never find them living outdoors, expecially not in your garden. There is a mealworm-like grub called a wireworm, that can thrive in your garden as a pest, but it is not related to darkling beetles.

The reason I don't raise mealworms is that I've heard they can be a vector for Marek's disease in poultry:
http://www.beautyofbirds.com/mareksdisease.html
 

ChickenJerk

Songster
8 Years
Jan 6, 2012
274
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I am considering raising mealworms. Should I have any concerns of causing a darkling beetle infestation in my garden/yard if some beetles would happen to escape? T
No.
Tenebrio molitor
the species of darkling beetle generally utilized as a feeder insect is not one that will survive in a yard/garden situation.
 

ChickenJerk

Songster
8 Years
Jan 6, 2012
274
34
126
The reason I don't raise mealworms is that I've heard they can be a vector for Marek's disease in poultry:
http://www.beautyofbirds.com/mareksdisease.html
There is no research that indicates that
Tenebrio molitor
is a vector for MDV.


Alphitobius diaperinus, the lesser mealworm or litter beetle has been implicated in the spread of MDV. This insect is the "lesser mealworm" one which is not used as a feeder insect.


You have misinterpreted the information in the link cited.
 

dheltzel

Crowing
6 Years
Nov 30, 2013
4,597
1,488
321
Pottstown, PA
There is no research that indicates that
Tenebrio molitor
is a vector for MDV.


Alphitobius diaperinus, the lesser mealworm or litter beetle has been implicated in the spread of MDV. This insect is the "lesser mealworm" one which is not used as a feeder insect.


You have misinterpreted the information in the link cited.
You are probably right, maybe it's OK, but this link it not specific about which species are involved and I prefer to not take any chances.
http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf

If I had the time to put into it, I'd look into fermenting the dry feed, rather than managing a bunch of mealworms. But that's my opinion, as someone who considers raising mealworms a waste of time.

To bring this back to the original question, there is nothing about raising mealworms that can possibly hurt your garden or landscape.
 

WhiteLeghorn2

Songster
6 Years
Aug 8, 2013
256
19
108
I am considering raising mealworms. Should I have any concerns of causing a darkling beetle infestation in my garden/yard if some beetles would happen to escape? T
No need to worry. If they could infest, we'd have see a lot of wild mealworms in the United States years ago.
Mealworms are extremely good for chickens (In moderation) and will make a great protein supplement for your girls.

 

Gallo del Cielo

La Gallina Resort & Spa
9 Years
May 6, 2010
5,230
386
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Tucson
My Coop
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To the OP, as others have stated, there really is no worry about them infesting your yard or garden. It's hard enough getting the conditions just right inside containers indoors to produce enough worms to feed.


Quote: There are more than 20,000 species in the family Tenebrionidae (darkling beetles), only one causes problems in poultry houses and it's relatively common (Alphitobius diaperinus). They can carry Marek's if they eat feathers, dander, or droppings from Marek's infested birds. Unless one fed their Tenebrio molitor colony Marek's infected feathers, dander or droppings, they will be no more likely to transmit Marek's than is the layer feed you give your birds. Here is a good link that explains in more detail the biology and issues with lesser mealworms.
 

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