Mealworms - Treat or Pest?

LakeMomNY

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
121
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I know a lot of people raise mealworms as a treat/food source for their chickens.

I also know that poultry farmers consider mealworms to be pests.

Why, if mealworms are coop damaging, feed eating, disease harboring pests, are we actively introducing them to our coops?
 

CrazyTalk

Songster
5 Years
Jun 10, 2014
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148
Because large scale poultry farms have little to do with small flocks of a handful of birds.


Mealworms are problem with large scale operations because they escape, molt, pupate, and turn into beetles, which get into your grain silos, and reproduce, and then you have bugs eating your grain.

If you don't have a grain silo, there's probably nothing to worry about.
 

Gallo del Cielo

La Gallina Resort & Spa
10 Years
May 6, 2010
5,230
480
326
Tucson
My Coop
My Coop
The mealworms that people raise as treats for their chickens, the Common or Yellow Mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), is a very different species from the Lesser Mealworms (Alphitobius diaperinus) that are sometimes a pest in poultry operations. They are very different species in terms of their behavior and appearance and it is impossible to confuse the two. There is virtually no chance of common mealworms escaping and becoming pests in your chicken coop. Try raising them for a while and that will become apparent.
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CrazyTalk

Songster
5 Years
Jun 10, 2014
1,384
337
148
Gallo, Tenebrio Molitor has actually been an agricultural pest for a couple thousand years - it IS a pest in largescale agriculture. But yeah, not a problem in a coop. It's the beetle that gets out and leads to problems - not the larva.

Here's what Wikipedia says about Tenebrio Molitor:

Quote: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mealworm
 

Gallo del Cielo

La Gallina Resort & Spa
10 Years
May 6, 2010
5,230
480
326
Tucson
My Coop
My Coop
Gallo, Tenebrio Molitor has actually been an agricultural pest for a couple thousand years - it IS a pest in largescale agriculture. But yeah, not a problem in a coop. It's the beetle that gets out and leads to problems - not the larva.

Here's what Wikipedia says about Tenebrio Molitor:

Quote:

I didn't say they weren't a pest to agriculture, they are commonly found in grain silos. The OP was concerned they'd be a pest in their coop, which is highly unlikely.
 

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