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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 #326445

Research Project: Management of Filth Flies

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: Effect of four commercial fungal formulations on mortality and sporulation of house flies (Musca domestica) and stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans)

Author
item Weeks, Emma - University Of Florida
item Machtinger, Erika
item Gezan, S - University Of Florida
item Kaufman, Phillip - University Of Florida
item Geden, Christopher - Chris

Submitted to: Medical and Veterinary Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2016
Publication Date: 10/26/2016
Citation: Weeks, E.N., Machtinger, E.T., Gezan, S.A., Kaufman, P.E., Geden, C.J. 2016. Effect of four commercial fungal formulations on mortality and sporulation of house flies (Musca domestica) and stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans). Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 31:15–22.

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 naturally occurring fungi can kill these flies. Little is known about how commercial formulations of fungi, primarily Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae, can affect the efficacy of house and stable flies. In this study, conducted by scientists at the University of Florida and the USDA’s Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (Gainesville, FL), four commercially available products containing B.bassiana or M. anisopliae were tested for their ability to kill flies and to produce spores that could infect other flies. Three of the products, BotaniGard® ES, Mycotrol® O, and Met52® caused high mortality and produced a second generation of spores from the cadavers of infected flies. Mortality and spore production from the balEnce® product were low. The results demonstrate that commercial formulation has a substantial effect on the effectiveness of these microbial biocontrol agents.

Technical Abstract: House flies (Musca domestica L.) and stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans (L.)) (Diptera: Muscidae) are major pests of livestock. Biological control is an important tool in an integrated control framework. Increased mortality in filth flies has been documented with entomopathogenic fungi, and several strains are commercially available. Three strains of Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) (Moniliales: Moniliaceae), and one strain of Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) (Ascomycota: Hypocreales) were tested in their commercial formulations for pathogenicity against house and stable flies. There was a significant increase in mortality of house flies with three of the products, BotaniGard® ES, Mycotrol® O, and Met52® EC from day 4 to day 9 when compared to balEnceTM and the control. With stable flies, the rate of mortality was highest with Met52® EC > Mycotrol® O > BotaniGard® ES > balEnceTM. There was a significant fungal effect on the sporulation of both house flies and stable flies. Product formulation, species differences, and fungal strains may be responsible for some observed differences. Future testing in field situations is necessary. These commercial biopesticides could be an important tool in an integrated fly management program.