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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301095

Title: Evaluation of three formulations of Beauveria bassiana for control of lesser mealworm and hide beetle in Georgia poultry houses

item Geden, Christopher - Chris
item STEINKRAUS, DONALD - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2003
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: Geden, C.J., Steinkraus, D.C. 2003. Evaluation of three formulations of Beauveria bassiana for control of lesser mealworm and hide beetle in Georgia poultry houses. Journal of Economic Entomology. 96(5):1602-1607.

Interpretive Summary: Lesser mealworm and hide beetles are major pests of poultry production throughout the world. Adult beetles carry avian pathogens from one flock to another, and their larvae are highly destructive structural pests of building infrastructural components. In this study, scientists from USDA-ARS (Gainesville, FL) and the University of Arkansas evaluated the potential of the fungal pathogen Beaueveria bassiana to control the beetles. Lab tests were conducted to evaluate the two most promising fungal strains out of the 12 candidates. Three different formulations of the two strains were then tested in the field by treating the manure of poultry houses located in southern Georgia. The most effective treatment provided 60-90% control. Results were encouraging but indicated that successful use of this product would require frequent re-applications because of the constant deposition of fresh (i.e., untreated) manure on top of treated areas.

Technical Abstract: Initial screening of 12 Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin isolates against larvae of the lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus[Panzer]) resulted in the selection of two isolates, GHA and 707, for further testing under field conditions. Three formulations of each strain were prepared: an EC, a ground corn granular formulation, and waste product of fungal propagation containing spent media, mycelia, and unharvested conidia (“residue” formulation). Two field trials were conducted in commercial caged-layer houses in Georgia with 5-6 months of manure accumulation and established populations of A. diaperinus and hide beetles (Dermestes maculatus DeGeer). In the first trial field, B. bassiana was applied a single time to the manure surface at either 109 (EC and granular cornmeal bait formulations) or 108 (residue formulation) fungal spores per square meter. In the second trial, two successive weekly treatments were applied, using a total of 6X the rate of application used in the first trial. Significant treatment effects were short-lived and only detected 2 weeks after treatment in both trials. The granular formulations of both strains and the residue formulation of the GHA strain provided the greatest degree of suppression (60-90%) of beetle larvae. A laboratory bioassay confirmed that the granular bait was the most effective formulation. More frequent applications made earlier in the manure accumulation cycle may be necessary to achieve satisfactory control of these beetles.