The lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus (Panzer), is an important economic pest in poultry production systems. Spatial analysis of the beetle population and environmental parameters can aid the integrated management of this pest species. A mealworm population was monitored weekly using tube traps in a broiler facility for five consecutive flock grow-outs ranging from 5 to 8 wk each. Litter temperature, pH, and relative humidity were measured concurrently at six of the same locations as tube trap placement. A geographic information system was used to display weekly spatial relationships of adult and larval beetles during each flock grow-out. Spatial maps of beetle populations showed that low numbers of the beetles were found in the half of the facility used to initiate each flock grow-out during weeks 1–3. Beetle numbers increased continuously in all areas of the facility in latter weeks of each grow-out. Using ranges of environmental conditions considered favorable to the beetles, we developed a model to predict locations of high beetle densities. A comparison of the predictive model to actual counts of adult and larval beetles showed percentages of agreement ranging from 20.0 to 86.7%. The accuracy of the predictive model had limits imposed by house environmental conditions and by beetle movement restrictions. Spatial maps of beetle occurrence based on trap counts display areas in the facility where control efforts would have the greatest impact on beetle numbers, whereas modeling is a less costly alternative than conventional sampling methods for finding areas of high beetle occurrence.
Geographic Information System