Kelly received a call from an alfalfa grower who had a customer finding insects in his hay. The immediate concern is for the safety of the feeding this hay as blister beetles will kill livestock. In the Bootheel, we have grey blister beetles that can be very common around soybeans, so the concern was valid.
The grower provided live insects in a sample of hay, and these were thankfully not blister beetles. The insects provided were adult mealworms. The Canada Grain Commission has advice on control, to which I might add monitoring. Simply looking for problems allows control while problems are small, and is an important part of Integrated Pest Management. The grower and his customer will have to find the source of the problem in order to begin control.
The hay is not dangerous. The Food Insects Newsletter even provides recipes for mealworms, hopefully the problem is short-lived.