Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Microbial Control of Mosquitoes and Black Flies

Authors
item Skovmand, Ole - IIC
item Kerwin, James - UNIV. WA
item Lacey, Lawrence

Submitted to: Microbial Control of Invertebrate Pests A Field Manual
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 1999
Publication Date: March 15, 2000
Citation: Skovmand, O., Kerwin, J., Lacey, L.A. 2000. Microbial control of mosquitoes and black flies. Microbial Control of Invertebrate Pests A Field Manual. p. 767-785.

Interpretive Summary: Mosquitoes and black flies are responsible for the transmission of a multitude of disease causing agents of humans and domestic animals. Mosquitoes transmit the causal agents of malaria, filariasis, and several arboviral diseases. Black flies transmit the causal agents of human and bovine onchocerciasis as well as Leucocytozoon spp. in fowl. Many mosquito and black fly control programs are based predominantly on conventional broad spectrum insecticides. Alternative interventions including biological control, would enable abatement of pest and vector species without untoward environmental effects and concomitant hazards for humans. The chapter provides an instructional means of using and evaluating bacterial pathogens of mosquito and black fly larvae. As more virulent pathogens are discovered and/or engineered, and with improvement in production methods, formulations and delivery systems and as greater restrictions are placed on interventions that are not environmentally friendly, the role of entomopathogens may increase substantially.

Technical Abstract: Diverse complexes of natural enemies including predators, parasites and pathogens have been reported for mosquitoes and black flies. Over the past 30 years the use of insect pathogens as manipulated biological control agents has come from a fairly rudimentary state to one that offers a number of options for practical control of mosquitoes and black flies. The discovery and development of Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis and Bacillus sphaericus varieties with elevated larvicidal activity increased the potential for microbial control of mosquitoes and dramatically reduced the cost inherent with production of other pathogens. Both bacteria can be mass produced by fermentation, have prolonged shelf lives, can be applied with conventional equipment and have minimal impact on non-target organisms in mosquito habitats. The chapter presents detailed protocols for the handling, application and evaluation of Bacillus spp. against mosquito and black fly larvae in diverse habitats.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page