Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: Global warming and house fly control: direct effects and biodiversity concerns. Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 28, 2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: House flies are major pests of human and animal health throughout the world and are among the most difficult to control. Effective fly management relies on a balance of sanitation, insecticide use, and biological control. Climate change could upset that balance in favor of the fly unless pro-active measures are taken beforehand. Temperature can affect insecticidal penetration, metabolism, distribution within the insect, and target site interactions. The net effect of temperature on toxicity can be neutral or result in either a positive or negative temperature coefficient. These responses can be further modulated by pest resistance mechanisms. Negative coefficients have often been observed with pyrethroids and positive coefficients with neonicotinoids, but active ingredients within a class of insecticides vary and must be examined on a case-by-case basis. Temperature also affects the residual life of surface treatments in ways that vary among active ingredients. Moreover, nothing is known about the effect of high temperatures on the behavior of flies regarding toxic sugar baits. Data are urgently needed to forecast the likely effect of higher temperatures on the performance of fly-control products. A second area of concern is the delicate balance between house flies and their natural enemies, especially predacious mites and beetles and the parasitoids that attack fly larvae and pupae. As with insecticides, nearly all of the published data on temperature-driven biological processes have been obtained over a range of moderate-to-warm temperatures. Almost nothing is known about the effects of very temperatures on the biology of flies and their natural enemies. House flies are highly adaptable and may already be tolerant of high-temperature extremes that are lethal for some of their natural enemies. Data on this subject are sorely needed, as is an effort to identify strains of heat-tolerant predators and parasitoids.