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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Research Project #427796

Research Project: Management of Filth Flies

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

2015 Annual Report

1. Evaluate the effects of climate change on filth fly populations and their natural enemies. 1A. House fly management under high temperature conditions. 1B. Verify seasonality, resource preference and range of Stomoxys niger in East Africa. 2. Increase the efficiency of integrated pest management programs by the development and improvement of traps and behavior-altering surfaces and chemicals. 2A. Identify and develop stable fly optical or chemical attractants which will improve trap efficacy. 2B. Conceive of or develop applications for behavior-altering devices, surfaces and chemicals (e.g., attractants, repellents, and pesticides) for practical use on and around livestock and poultry. 3. Develop management techniques for fly larvae. 3A. Development of more effective larval detection and control techniques for filth flies. 3B. Autodissemination of Insect Growth Regulators (IGR’s) by house flies. 4. Improve biological control techniques for filth flies. 4A. Improved efficacy of Beauveria bassiana by formulating combination products with other agents. 4B. Location of host pupae by filth fly parasitoids. 4C. Improve the quality of commercially available fly parasitoids.

Objective 1 will investigate and identify methods for management of house flies under the higher temperatures expected to occur with global warming. It will also use trapping data to determine risk of introduction of exotic Stomoxys spp. in the U.S. Objective 2 will develop chemical or optical attractants that will enable traps for stable flies to become more efficient and capture greater numbers of flies. It will also adapt behavior-altering devices, such as pesticide-impregnated fabrics, for different uses, such as attract and kill devices. Objective 3 will evaluate new methods for determining the presence of sub-surface immature fly populations in field habitats. It will also further develop methods to allow house flies to spread selected IGRs throughout their habitats. Ojective 4 will improve the efficacy of a biological control agent by formulating it with other selected lethal agents. It will also investigate the methods (e.g., chemical cues) used by parasitic wasps to locate fly pupae in field habitats. Finally, we will gain new knowledge on the effects of long-term colonization on the performance of parasitic wasps being released into the field.

Progress Report
During the first year of this project, house flies and 8 species of parasitoids were collected from dairy farms in Florida, Nebraska, and California. Colonies were established and house fly responses to the insecticides imidacloprod and cyfluthrin were evaluated under three temperature regimes: hot, cool, and moderate. Resistance to imidacloprid was high in all three regimes, but efficacy was much higher under hot than cool conditions. In contrast, cyfluthrin mortality was substantially higher under cool test conditions. Fly parasitoids were adversely affected by high temperatures and killed only about 1/3 as many fly pupae as they did under moderate conditions. Contact has been maintained with the cooperator for the stable fly project in Kenya, but State Department restrictions prohibit travel to Kenya at this time. Thus, project planning and site visits cannot be made. Literature on Stomoxys niger is being collected. Spectral reflectance of materials used on traps and selected replacement materials has been determined with a spectrometer in the laboratory. These spectral curves will be compared with those recorded under field conditions. Preliminary results indicate that pyrproxyfen (PPF) is compatible with house fly parasitoids at the doses that would be expected using autodisseminaton methods. In field tests of a prototype autodissemination device, visitation to the devices was low, suggesting that flies were able to detect and avoid landing on the PPF-treated surface. Olfactometer tests demonstrated that the fly parasitoid Spalangia cameroni was attracted to larvae but not pupae of house flies, but only when they were in animal manure. In contrast, Muscidifurax raptor was attracted to pupae with or without manure odors. In competition tests between two commercially available parasitoids (M. raptor and M. raptorellus), M. raptor was usually the victor but the outcome was affected by whether one of the competitors was given a head start.

1. South American fly parasitoid competes poorly with native species. During the past decades, commercial insectaries have added the fly parasitoid Muscidifurax raptorellus to their grow operations and products lines. This South American wasp, introduced into the U.S. in the 1960’s, is an appealing species for commercial production because each parasitized host (fly pupa) produces several wasps instead a single parasitoid. But is it compatible with other species that are used for fly control? ARS researchers at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL conducted competition experiments to examine the outcome of combining this species with Muscidufurax raptor, a native species with a long history of successful fly suppression. The results showed that M. raptorellus fares poorly when it has to compete with the ubiquitous and native M. raptor, and that M. raptor is a more appropriate and effective species for fly control.

2. An introduced exotic fly parasitoid is now established in the U.S. The fly parasitoid Tachinaephagus zealandicus was imported from New Zealand and released in California for house fly management in 1967. The releases were considered a failure at the time because almost no T. zealandicus were recovered near the release site. But was the release really a failure? ARS researchers at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL set out to determine whether this species was present in the Eastern U.S. nearly 50 years after its release in California. An extensive survey showed that T. zealandicus was present in every state that was sampled, representing new records for Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, and New York. The results demonstrate that this species is successfully and widely established in the U.S., although its impact on the target house fly is uncertain.

3. High temperatures present new challenges for house fly management. Most of the available information on the efficacy of insecticides and biocontrol agents for house fly control has been obtained from temperate climates as found in North Carolina, California, and New York. Climate change predictions indicate that future fly management may be conducted under temperature conditions that historically would have been considered extreme. How do insecticides and fly parasitoids (biocontrol agents) perform under very hot conditions? Using experimental conditions simulating July conditions in cool, moderate, and very hot locations in the U.S., ARS researchers at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL found that hot conditions greatly reduced the effectiveness of cyfluthrin and parasitoids. The results suggest that rising temperatures would likely result in substantially higher fly populations unless new management strategies are devised.

Review Publications
Zayed, A., Hoel, D.F., El-Wafa, R.A., Tageldin, R.A., Furman, B.D., Hogsette, Jr, J.A., Bernier, U.R. 2013. Efficacy and duration of three residual insecticides on cotton duck and vinyl tent surfaces for control of the sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi (Diptera: Psychodidae). Army Medical Department Journal. 2013(1-1):66-72.
Muller, G.C., Hogsette, Jr, J.A., Kline, D.L., Beier, J.C., Revay, E.E., Xue, R. 2015. Response of the sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi to visual, physical and chemical attraction features in the field. Acta Tropica. 141:32-36.
Barba, M., Stewart, A.J., Passler, T., Wooldridge, A.A., Van Santen, E., Chamorro, M.F., Cattley, R.C., Hathcock, T., Hogsette, Jr, J.A., Hu, X.P. 2015. Experimental transmission of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis biovar equi in horses by house flies. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 29:636-643.
Barba, M., Stewart, A.J., Passler, T., Hathcock, T., Wooldridge, A.A., Van Santen, E., Chamorro, M.F., Cattley, R.C., Hogsette, Jr, J.A., Hu, X. 2015. Experimental inoculation of house flies Musca domestica with Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis serovar equi. Bulletin of Insectology. 68(1):39-44.
Swiger, S.L., Hogsette, Jr, J.A., Butler, J.F. 2014. Laboratory colonization of the blow flies, Chrysomya megacephala (Diptera: Calliphoridae) and Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 107(5):1780-1784.
Machtinger, E.T., Geden, C.J., Teal, P.E., Leppla, C. 2015. Comparison of host-seeking behavior of the filth fly pupal parasitoids, Spalangia cameroni and Muscidifurax raptor (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Environmental Entomology. 44(2):330-337.
Geden, C.J., Johnson, D.M., Kaufman, P.E., Boohene, C.K. 2014. Competition between the filth fly parasitoids Muscidifurax raptor and M. raptorellus (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). Journal of Vector Ecology. 39(2):278-287.
Geden, C.J., Skovgard, H. 2014. Status of tachinaephagus zealandicus (Hymenoptera:Encyrtidae), a larval parasitoid of muscoid flies, in the U.S. and Denmark. Journal of Vector Ecology. 39(2):453-456.
Machtinger, E.T., Geden, C.J., Leppla, N.C. 2015. The effect of linear distance on the parasitism of house fly hosts (Diptera: Muscidae) by Spalangia cameroni (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae).. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129105.