An evaluation of a mechanical barrier to prevent movement of adult and larval lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer); larder beetle, Dermestes lardarius L.; and hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus De Geer was conducted in caged-layer poultry facilities in New York and Maine. The barrier, a plastic collar wrapped around building support posts, proved highly effective at preventing movement of adult lesser mealworms. Significantly more lesser mealworm larvae were recovered from cardboard collar beetle traps placed below both washed and unwashed barriers than from traps placed above washed and unwashed barriers. Similarly, significantly more adult Dermestes were recovered from traps placed below washed barriers than from above both washed and unwashed barriers. The level of fly specking on the barrier was found to have no significant impact on the numbers of adult lesser mealworms and adult and larval Dermestes recovered either above or below barriers. Fly specking level did significantly impact the numbers of lesser mealworm larvae recovered above the barrier. Although washed barriers provided the greatest deterrent to adult lesser mealworms, the presence of the barrier, regardless of the level of fly specking, provided a significant deterrent to beetle climbing success. Washed barriers further reduced climbing success by lesser mealworm larvae by 17%, Dermestes adults by 7–28%, and Dermestes larvae by 33–38%. The high level of climbing observed by adult lesser mealworms suggests that the impact of adult beetle movement toward birds should be considered in its importance in building damage, disease transmission, feed infestation, and bird productivity and health. Observations on cost and maintenance of the barrier are discussed.
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Vol. 98 • No. 5