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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 #328015

Research Project: Management of Filth Flies

Location: Mosquito and Fly Research

Title: House fly (Musca domestica) (Diptera: Muscidae) mortality after exposure to commercial fungal formulations in a sugar bait

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

Submitted to: Biocontrol Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2016
Publication Date: 10/26/2016
Citation: Machtinger, E.T., Weeks, E.N., Geden, C.J., Kaufman, P.E. 2016. House fly (Musca domestica) (Diptera: Muscidae) mortality after exposure to commercial fungal formulations in a sugar bait. Biocontrol Science and Technology. 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, affect the efficacy of sugar baits containing fungal conidia. 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 in a sugar bait and to produce spores that could infect other flies. Two of the formulations tested, BotaniGard® ES, and Mycotrol® O, produced higher mortality than the other formulations. Flies may be somewhat repulsed by current formulations, but because formulations may protect conidia, additional research in to more attractive formulations is warranted.

Technical Abstract: House flies (Musca domestica 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 flies in a sugar bait. Baits containing entomopathogenic fungi could provide an alternative chemical control of adult flies, slow insecticide resistance, reduce control costs, and have minimal risk to beneficial arthropods. Two of the formulations tested, BotaniGard® ES, and Mycotrol® O, produced higher mortality than the other formulations and optimizing bait applications with these products is worth exploring. Flies may be somewhat repulsed by current formulations, but because formulations may protect conidia, additional research in to more attractive formulations is warranted.