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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: HIGHER DIPTERA PESTS OF LIVESTOCK, POULTRY, AND HUMAN HEALTH: INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT AND ADULT BIOLOGY

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit

Title: Status of microbial control of house flies

Author
item Geden, Christopher

Submitted to: Journal of Biopesticides
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 2, 2011
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Citation: Geden, C.J. 2011. Status of microbial control of house flies. Journal of Biopesticides. 4(1):1.

Technical Abstract: House flies are major pests of human and animal health throughout the world and are among the most difficult to control because of resistance to every insecticide that has been developed for their control. There are a variety of microbial agents available to manage flies, each with advantages and disadvantages. Fungal agents include Entomophthora muscae and Beauveria bassiana. E. muscae often produces spectacular epizootics in house fly populations. Attempts to manipulate this pathogen by initiating epizootics have been limited by the need for high fly populations to sustain infections and the ability of flies to mitigate the effects of infection by resting in warm areas to raise their body temperature. B. bassiana is easier to work with, and there are now commercial formulations available for fly control in the US. Results have been particularly promising in poultry houses, where fly populations are relatively closed. The bacterial agent Bacillus thuringiensis has received renewed attention because of recent successes is using B.t.i. against fly larvae in poultry houses. The newest microbial agent for fly control is salivary gland hypertrophy virus (MdSGHV), which infects adult flies and renders them sterile. Initial efforts to develop MdSGHV into an infective bait were unsuccessful because of difficulty in getting the virus to pass through the peritrophic matrix of mature flies. A new method has been developed that allows for economical mass production of infected flies that can either be released or used to produce a liquid spray for application directly to flies or their resting sites.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014