Stability and safety of mycopesticides for lesser mealworm

The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

  • Project code: PRO-017167

  • Project stage: Current

  • Project start date: Wednesday, March 1, 2023

  • Project completion date: Thursday, September 25, 2025

  • National Priority: CME-Priority 1-Improving environmental sustainability outcomes


Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and AgriFutures Australia have developed mycopesticides based on a specific strain of the fungus Beauveria bassiana for control of the insect pest lesser mealworm (Alphitobius diaperinus) in commercial chicken sheds. The mycopesticides consistently outperformed industry-standard insecticides in all of three field trials at chicken farms with earth and concrete floors, and full litter replacement and re-use regimens. In recent field trials, lesser mealworm populations were reduced by as much as 94% compared to untreated sheds with the industry standard insecticide at best reducing populations by 40%. Ongoing negotiations with animal health companies from Australia and overseas have consistently identified key areas where further data would be needed for them to invest in commercialising a mycopesticide for the chicken meat industry. These areas include investigation of mycopesticide shelf-life and optimised spore production. In addition, data essential for APVMA registration in Australia needs full molecular characterisation of the fungus and assessment of its safety regarding toxic metabolite production. Research in these areas would provide a more comprehensive data package for attracting a partner in the animal health industry to commercialise a mycopesticide to control lesser mealworm for the chicken meat industry.


Chicken Meat

Research Organisation

The State of Queensland acting through the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries