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Insect and Manure Management in Poultry Systems: Elements Relative to Food Safety and Nuisance Issues

Investigators
Rutz, Donald
Institutions
Cornell University
Start date
2001
End date
2006
Objective
  1. Evaluate conventional and experimental poultry manure management systems as they influence production of filth flies, litter beetles and associated foodborne pathogens.
  2. Evaluate novel cultural, biological and chemical strategies for pest management to minimize nuisance and health risk in the rural-urban interface.
More information
NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: Flies and beetles are often associated with animal agriculture because they live and breed in the manure. The relationship between insects and pathogens, and their management is the subject of project. Pest management is critical prior and subsequent to land application of manure. This project investigates the role of flies and beetles in the spread of pathogens relative to foodborne disease.

APPROACH:
Objective 1:
I. Manure Management Systems: Treatments Caged-layer poultry farms are increasingly utilizing in-house composting as a manure management strategy. Manure will be sampled weekly for presence of arthropods and manure will be characterized for potential fly development. This information will demonstrate the importance of complete vs. partial compost. An evaluation of outdoor composting will be conducted. We will sample manure for house flies and darkling beetles during the time period that beetles are active. Additionally, compost samples will be removed and evaluated for house fly breeding potential. Manure from caged-layer poultry facilities infested with darkling beetles will be removed from buildings and a minimum of five piles will be formed outdoors. All piles will then be covered with a tarp and sealed. Manure core samples will be taken 1, 3, 7, 14 and 21 days after tarping. This process will be repeated four times annually for a minimum of two years.
II. Outdoor Management of Nuisance Insects Suitability of commercial and experimental fly traps for monitoring abundance of house flies and blow flies will be examined. Baited jug traps, white sticky cylinders and baited pyramid traps will be compared by placing replicates of each design in proximity to known sources of house flies. Relative efficiency will be evaluated by comparing mean daily catch rates of males and females of each species of fly. Resident nuisance threshold will be established and correlated to the fly densities within the facility. Working with the farm, an IPM program will be formed to reduce fly nuisance complaints. Poultry manure containing all life stages of house flies or darkling beetles will be collected from caged-layer houses and loaded into a manure spreader. The litter will be spread onto a field according to the current state recommendations. Treatments will include: control, mulch till, disk, and moldboard plow. Emergence traps, square tiles and sticky traps will be used to monitor survival. All traps will be examined on day 8, 14, 18, 21 and 25.

Objective 2: Efficacy studies of new products against targeted pests are essential. Unfortunately many new chemistries come to livestock and poultry well after its use in other commodities. For example, pyriproxifen, has been evaluated for activity against many row crop pest and only recently the house fly and darkling beetle. Inclusion of this insecticide in IPM programs requires further study of the non-target effects as well. We will examine pyridine in replicated laboratory studies and determine the impact of the insecticide against immature C. pumilio. Adult house flies will be assayed for susceptibility to several insecticides. Both adult and larval beetles will be assayed for susceptibility to the only three registered materials. House fly and darkling beetle resistance status will be determined for a minimum of 5 farms in several states. Both immature and adult darkling beetles will be assayed.

PROGRESS: 2001/10 TO 2006/09
Flies and beetles are often associated with animal agriculture because they live and breed in the manure. The relationship between insects and pathogens, and their management is the subject of this project. Pest management is critical prior and subsequent to land application of manure. This project investigated the role of flies and beetles in the spread of pathogens relative to foodborne disease. Applications of a commercially produced Beauveria bassiana product, balEnce, were compared with pyrethrin treatments for the control of adult house flies in high rise caged-layer poultry facilities. An integrated fly management program, which included the release of house fly pupal hymenopteran parasitoids was used at all facilities. Adult house fly populations were lower in B. bassiana-treated facilities during the spray and post-spray periods, as recorded on spot cards. Concurrently, the numbers of house fly larvae recovered in B. bassiana-treated facilities were less than one-half that of the pyrethrin-treated facilities. House fly pupal parasitism levels were low, but similar under both treatment regimes. The numbers of adult and larval Carcinops pumilio, a predatory beetle, recovered from B. bassiana-treated facilities were 43 and 66 percent greater than from the pyrethrin-treated facilities, respectively.

IMPACT: 2001/10 TO 2006/09
The house fly is a most significant nuisance and public health problem of poultry production. The development of B. bassiana as an effective tool against the house fly is a critical component to a significant challenge that has confounded producers: how to kill large numbers of adult house flies without using residual premise pesticides. Now an integrated fly management program can include the full compliment of tools targeting all life stages of the house fly while preserving and protecting fly natural enemies resulting in maintenance of fly populations below maximally accepted levels in poultry facilities. The darkling beetle is one of the most important pests of poultry production worldwide. These beetles are vectors of human and animal pathogens, cause costly structural damage to production facilities, and cause serious public health/nuisance problems when they emigrate from farms or from land on which infested manure has been spread. Furthermore, the beetles are extremely difficult to contol with pesticides, of which only a few are available. The insecticidal and non-insecticidal management options developed in this study are extremely cost-effective and can be easily incorporated into existing poultry production systems. Implementation through our existing Extension outreach activities and web site is currently in progress.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
NYC-139818
Accession number
191510
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins
Commodities
Seafood
Meat, Poultry, Game