University Of Minnesota’s Ask The Expert: Do I Need To Worry About These Beetles In My Barn?

Question: I have noticed new insects in my barn this year. The beetles kind of look like blister beetles, but we don’t use alfalfa hay, and the moths I find in water buckets every day. What are they? Are they harmful to my horses? How can I get rid of them?

Response : The black beetles you found in your barn are not blister beetles but darkling beetles. While similar in appearance, blister beetles have a distinct neck, whereas darkling beetles do not. Darkling beetles and their larvae (lesser mealworms) live in dark, moist places, are attracted to soiled bedding, and feed on spilled or spoiled grains. To avoid the light, they may hide in crevices or stacked hay. However, unlike blister beetles, darkling beetles are not toxic to horses. Keeping your barn tidy is key to preventing infestations of darkling beetles: clean up spilled feed or grain, discard any old feed, routinely remove manure and soiled bedding from stalls. Dispose of infested feed; a few beetles in your hay is okay as they will likely scurry away when disturbed or exposed to light.

The moths you have seen in your water buckets are meal moths. Meal moths infest grains, where they lay their eggs. Once the larvae hatch, they feed on the grain and leave behind webs that impede air flow and cause the grain to clump. You should avoid feeding grain that is infested with meal moths or their larvae.

Some insect infestations originate within feed bags. Grains often contain eggs and when stored improperly (e.g., warm temperatures) or for too long, the eggs hatch. The following tips can help keep your feed fresh and free of bugs.

  • Before purchasing feed, check the date of manufacturing on the bag to ensure the feed is not old.
  • Avoid storing more than a 2-week supply of feed at a time.
  • Store feed in a cool, dry place and inside animal- and insect-proof containers.
  • Keep your feed area clean: pick up spills, discard spoiled or old feed, wipe out containers between new bags of feed, and cover grain buckets when preparing meals in advance.

The post University Of Minnesota’s Ask The Expert: Do I Need To Worry About These Beetles In My Barn? appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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