Poultry informed professional
While it is widely recognized that darkling beetles and their larvae harbor a variety of avian viral pathogens (IBD, Fowl Pox, NDV, ALV) and protozoal pathogens (Eimeria spp.), and that they can cause great destruction to poultry houses while negatively impacting costs and performance parameters in broiler production (1-9), it is only somewhat recently that their role as reservoirs for Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. has gained clarity in the scientific literature. Perhaps this is due to the increasing emphasis placed on food borne pathogen reduction, as HACCP concepts and regulatory requirements are increasingly implemented in poultry processing plants. New research suggests that the effectiveness of darkling beetle pre-harvest control programs may impact food pathogen loads on carcasses (Salmonella, Campylobacter) via their impact on pathogen prevalence in broilers entering the processing window.