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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Gainesville, Florida » Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology » Mosquito and Fly Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317307

Research Project: Management of Filth Flies

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Use of pupal parasitoids as biological control agents of filth flies on equine facilities

item MACHTINGER, ERIKA - University Of Florida
item Geden, Christopher - Chris
item KAUFMAN, PHILLIP - University Of Florida
item HOUSE, AMANDA - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Journal of Integrated Pest Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2015
Publication Date: 9/23/2015
Citation: Machtinger, E.T., Geden, C.J., Kaufman, P.E., House, A.M. 2015. Use of pupal parasitoids as biological control agents of filth flies on equine facilities. Journal of Integrated Pest Management. 6:1-10.

Interpretive Summary: House flies and stable flies are important pests associated with animals and humans and transmit a wide array of disease organisms. Biological control is an important element in successful fly management, and parasitic wasps that attack and kill fly pupae are the most commonly used fly biocontrol agents. Most of the research on field use of parasitoids for fly control has been concentrated on food animal systems such as cattle and poultry housing. The equine sector accounts for a large proportion of national fly control outlays but has been relatively underserved. Little is known about which species of parasitoids are the most appropriate for use on horse farms and the quantities that should be released to achieve satisfactory control. In this article, scientists at USDA’s Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (Gainesville, FL) and the University of Florida review and assess the status of knowledge on fly biocontrol for horse-owners. Management suggestions are made based on current knowledge, and areas where further research is needed are highlighted.

Technical Abstract: House flies, Musca domestica L., and stable flies, Stomoxys calcitrans (L.), (Diptera: Muscidae), are common pests on horse farms. The use of pupal parasitoids as biological control agents for filth flies is becoming more popular on equine facilities; however, there is a lack of information on the execution of augmentation programs for horse farms. This review of biological control of filth fly pests on equine farms provides an overview of the life history and identification of filth fly pests and common commercially-available parasitoids. Additionally, recommendations based on known literature for use of pupal parasitoids are provided and the importance of continued research in this area is highlighted. When coupled with cultural control practices and other manure management techniques, pupal parasitoids offer an environmentally-sound option for mitigating on-farm fly breeding.