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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Agroecosystem Management Research

Title: Insecticide resistance in house flies from the United States: Resistance levels and frequency of pyrethroid resistance alleles

item Jeffrey, Scott
item Leichter, Cheryl
item Rinkevich, Frank
item Harris, Sarah
item Su, Cathy
item Aberegg, Lauren
item Moon, Roger
item Geden, Christopher - Chris
item Gerry, Alec
item Taylor, David - Dave
item Byford, Ronnie
item Watson, Wes
item Johnson, Gregory
item Boxler, David
item Zurek, Ludek

Submitted to: Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2013
Publication Date: 11/1/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Jeffrey, S.G., Leichter, C., Rinkevich, F.D., Harris, S.A., Su, C., Aberegg, L.C., Moon, R., Geden, C.J., Gerry, A.C., Taylor, D.B., Byford, R.L., Watson, W., Johnson, G., Boxler, D., Zurek, L. 2013. Insecticide resistance in house flies from the United States: Resistance levels and frequency of pyrethroid resistance alleles. Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology. 107(3): 377-384.

Interpretive Summary: House flies are important pests and carriers of disease organisms that are problematic around animal agriculture facilities throughout the world. Insecticide use has been the mainstay of fly control efforts for as long as they have been available, but flies are notorious for their rapid development of resistance to the products used against them. An understanding of the status of insecticide resistance is important for managing future resistance problems and for identifying which insecticides remain effective for emergency use. In this study, Cornell University led a nationwide assessment of the status of house fly resistance that included participation by ARS scientists located in Gainesville, FL and Lincoln, NE. Very high levels of resistance were observed in all locations to two popular insecticides, permethrin and methomyl. Resistance was less severe to the fourth generation pyrethroid cyfluthrin, but varied widely among locations. Resistance to imidacloprid, a relatively recent product, was low to modest. The results will help guide local insecticide choices and rotation programs to prolong the effective life of products that can still be used effectively to control flies.

Technical Abstract: Although insecticide resistance is a widespread problem for most insect pests, frequently the assessment of resistance occurs over a limited geographic range. Herein we report the first widespread survey of insecticide resistance ever undertaken for the house fly, Musca domestica, a major pest of animal production facilities. The levels of resistance to six different insecticides were determined in house flies were collected from dairies in eight different states. In addition, the frequencies of Vssc and CYP6D1 alleles that confer resistance to pyrethroid insecticides were determined for each collection site. Levels of resistance to the six insecticides varied between states and insecticides. Resistance to permethrin was overall the highest and most consistent across the states. Resistance to methomyl was relatively consistent, with 65-91% survival in nine of the ten collections. Resistance to cyfluthrin and pyrethrins + PBO varied considerably 2.9-76%. Resistance to imidacloprid was overall modest and showed no signs of increasing, despite increasing use of this insecticide. The frequency of Vssc alleles that confer pyrethroid resistance was variable between locations. The highest frequencies of kdr, kdr-his and super-kdr were found in MN, NC and KS, respectively. In contrast, the NM population had a high frequency (0.67) of the susceptible allele. The implications of these results to resistance management and to the understanding of the evolution of insecticide resistance are discussed.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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