Differences in the susceptibility to commercial insecticides among populations of the lesser mealworm Alphitobius diaperinus collected from poultry houses in France.
The control of insect pests often relies on the recurrent application of insecticides. This is the case for the lesser mealworm, Alphitobius diaperinus, an invasive beetle infesting poultry farms. There is evidence that A. diaperinus can develop resistance to several insecticides. Evaluation of such resistance has never been conducted in France, despite the beetle's presence since the 1970s. We assess insecticide susceptibility in 10 populations from French poultry farms and compare patterns with two susceptible populations. Adults are subjected to short-term exposures (4 h) to four commercial insecticides and their recovery is assessed. Temporal survival also is scored during constant exposures for seven days. Clear-cut differences among the farm populations are found. Except for three populations that have patterns similar to those of the two susceptible populations, all the other farm populations have a much greater capacity to recover and survive insecticide exposures, especially to pyrethroid-based formulations. Three populations in particular even exhibit clear signs of resistance to pyrethroids, with median lethal times more than 10-fold superior to values of the susceptible population. No insect in any population recovers from the pirimiphos-methyl exposure, and all beetles are apparently dead after 15 h. Our results demonstrate the existence of resistant populations to pyrethroids in Brittany France.