Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: House fly management with viral and botanical agents Author
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 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 because of resistance to every insecticide that has been developed for their control. A promising microbial agent for fly control is salivary gland hypertrophy virus (MdSGHV), a member of recently described new family of viruses known only from house fly, tsetse flies, and the narcissus bulb fly. Features of infection include greatly enlarged salivary glands, a shutdown of ovarian development, reduced mating competence, and shortened life spans. Infected house flies deposit up to 3 billion virus particles per hour when they feed on solid food, and it is thought that the primary route of infection is by ingestion of virus-contaminated food by healthy flies. Paradoxically, flies are most susceptible to oral infection when they are newly emerged and not yet ready to feed. Per os transmission rates with older flies rarely exceed 30% regardless of food vehicle (solid or liquid, proteinaceous or sugar-based), viral dose, or sex of fly. The refractoriness of older flies can be overcome by treating the fly with drugs that disrupt the peritrophic matrix. Flies also become infected when they are confined on virus-treated surfaces or sprayed directly with virus suspensions. The route of infection in surface-treated flies appears to be via the spiracles, and the addition of suitable wetting agents improves the efficacy of surface treatments. Botanical biopesticides also have potential for house fly management, especially when combined with low doses of traditional insecticides.