Biological control of the common house fly (Musa domestica L.) using Bacillus thuringiensis (Ishiwata) berliner var. Israelensis and Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) vullemin in caged poultry facilities.
The entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana and the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) have been widely studied for their role in biocontrol against many arthropods and extensively exploited for insect pest control. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of four B. bassiana and two Bti formulations and their respective combinations, for the biological control of the common house fly, Musca domestica L., a major pest in poultry facilities. In vitro screening was undertaken to select the best B. bassiana isolates from 34 B. bassiana isolates and two Paecilomyces isolates. All the isolates of B. bassiana were found to be effective against adult house flies, but were marginally effective in controlling fly larvae. The Paecilomyces isolates were non-pathogenic towards both adult house flies and larvae. The best four isolates R444, 7320, 7569 and 7771 caused >90% mortality within 2d and were subjected to dose-mortality bioassays. Microscopic studies using light and scanning electron microscopy indicated the different durations of the lifecycle of B. bassiana development on the house fly. High temperature was found to delay conidial germination. Spore germination and mycelial growth were also inhibited by high adjuvant concentrations. Laboratory baseline bioassay data established, a dose-time response relationship using a waterdispersible granules (WDG) Bti formulation that demonstrated that the susceptibility of M. domestica larvae to a given concentration of Bti increased as the duration of exposure increased. In the laboratory studies, the LC50 and LC90 values of Bti for the larvae ranged between 65 - 77.4 and 185.1 - 225.9?g ml-1, respectively. LT50 and LT90 values were 5.5 and 10.3d respectively. In the field, a concentration of 10g Bti kg-1 (bran formulation) of feed resulted in 90% reduction of larvae for 4wk post-treatment. A higher concentration (2g L-1) of Bti in spray (WDG) applications was not significantly more effective than the lower concentration of 1g L-1. Thus, adding Bti to chicken feed has potential for the management and control of house flies in cagedpoultry facilities. The impact of oral feed applications of a bran formulation of Bti and a commercial chemical larvicide, Larvadex®, were compared with respect to their efficacy on the control of house fly 3 larval populations in poultry manure. The sublethal effects were manifested in terms of decreasing emergence of adult house flies. Although Larvadex® reduced larval density and caused significant reductions in emergence of adult house flies, it generally exhibited weaker lethal effects than Bti. The reduction levels achieved as a result of feeding 250mg Bti kg-1 at 5wk were similar to those achieved as a result of feeding twice the amount of Larvadex® at 4wk to the layers. From both an efficiency and economic perspective, comparisons to assess the impact of combining different concentrations of the two Bti formulations were carried out to evaluate their success in controlling house fly larvae and adults in poultry houses. The percentage mortality of larvae accomplished as a result of using a combination of 250mg kg-1 Bti in feed and 2g L-1 spray applications was equivalent to that obtained as a result of combining 500mg kg-1 Bti in feed and 1g L-1 spray application. The cost-benefit analysis (expressed in terms of mortality of larvae) indicated that the most effective combination for control of house fly larvae and fly emergence was the 500mg kg-1 in feed and 2g L-1 spray application combination that resulted in 67% larval mortality and 74% inhibition of adult house fly emergence. This study presents commercial users with possible combinations of applications of the two Bti formulations. Comparisons of larval mortalities and house fly emergence resulting from the Bti - B. bassiana treatments with those from Larvadex® - B. bassiana treatments, showed better control levels compared to any of the individual agents alone. The Bti treatments were more effective at controlling larval populations and inhibiting the emergence of house flies than Larvadex®, even when Larvadex® was applied together with B. bassiana. The effects of the Bti - B. bassiana and the Larvadex® - B. bassiana interactions were additive. These trials suggest that the efficacy of Bti in the control of house fly larvae may be improved with frequent applications of B. bassiana.