New Barrier Blocks Pesky Beetles
ARS News Service
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
Tara Weaver-Missick, (301) 504-1619, firstname.lastname@example.org
July 26, 1999
Poultry farmers may no longer have to worry about replacing beetle- damaged
hen house roofs, thanks to a new invention called BEETLBAR, developed by
Agricultural Research Service scientists in Gainesville, Fla.
BEETLBAR is a non-toxic physical barrier that prevents crawling insects from
boring into wooden structures. Two insects in particular pose problems for
poultry farmers--darkling beetles, also called lesser mealworms, and hide
The larvae of these beetles develop in poultry litter and manure under
high-rise poultry houses. Floor-reared birds feed on migrating beetles,
which can harbor Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli, tapeworms and
avian leukosis virus--leading to major economic losses for farmers.
This new plastic barrier, developed by research chemist David A. Carlson and
research entomologist Christopher J. Geden, can be placed around trees,
poultry house foundations, and a variety of residential, commercial,
industrial and farm buildings. Carlson and Geden are with the ARS Center for
Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology's Mosquito and Fly Research
Beetle larvae usually migrate from litter and crawl up walls and posts into
ceiling insulation, burrowing holes and causing major structural damage in
timbers. BEETLBAR's slick surface prevents this migration. In Georgia and
Virginia alone, annual losses from these insects are estimated at $9.8 and
$15.9 million, respectively.
Carlson says the new barrier is strong, long-lasting, lightweight, and easy
to apply and clean. He says a major advantage of using BEETLBAR is that it
reduces pesticides needed to control litter beetles.
Another advantage of this new barrier is it will save poultry farmers money
in losses from beetle-damaged broiler houses that cost thousands of dollars
more to heat and cool than non-damaged houses. Beetle damaged insulation can
cost more than $30,000 a house. Carlson and Geden have filed for a patent on
this new invention.
ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research
Scientific contacts: David A. Carlson and Christopher J. Geden, ARS Center
for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Mosquito and Fly
Research Unit, Gainesville, Fla., (phone) 352-374-5931, (fax) 352-374-5922,
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