“Flying Infections: “Resisting Resistance””
(By Dr. Stuart Mitchell)
The House fly, Musca domestica, is a “flying infection” capable of mechanically transferring huge pathogenic loads from filth to food. Within urban environments, House flies challenge many food establishments as their presence results in loss of reputation, loss of revenue, and possibly public health regulatory violations. A major challenge for pest management professionals, expertise pursuant to House fly population reduction in and around agricultural operations is on the rise.
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Attributed to House fly pressures, pathogens resulting in disease and stress resulting in lost production cost farms and animal rearing operations millions of dollars every year. A major contributing factor to the failure of fly pressure reduction is genetic resistance to insecticides resulting from repetitive use of the same mode of action.
Errors in DNA copying or radiation from sunlight can cause random genetic mutations. If one mutation allows an individual fly to survive, that mutation then exists within the fly population.
Researchers tested six insecticides and found House fly resistance resulting from genetic mutations. Analyses resulted from cattle farms in nine states.
House flies were found to be most resistant to permethrin. One of the least common mutations resulted in the highest permethrin resistance. Other modes of action showed varied levels of resistance.
Researchers recommend resisting resistance through application of insecticides by event or only when required. Insecticide mode of action rotation, avoiding prophylactic applications through monitoring of fly levels, and use of parasitic wasps are further advised.
Two examples of monitoring fly levels on animal rearing operations.
- Are-wide deployed cards to monitor/count fly spotting.
- Number of fly landings action thresholds such as 5 flies per animal front leg.
Source: Journal of Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology
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