Recent studies suggest the potential for use of oil formulations of the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, as residual sprays for control of house flies in poultry production facilities. The current study investigated the influence of biotic and abiotic factors on biopesticide persistence. We found that flies physically removed and deactivated conidia, with higher fly densities and greater cumulative exposure hastening the decline. Nonetheless, very low densities of viable conidia were still able to cause rapid mortality, suggesting the potential for relatively long re-treatment intervals as fly populations are controlled. Considering abiotic factors, we found that fungal spray treatments remained viable for up to 13 weeks under laboratory conditions. Periodic exposure of flies to the spray residue showed high levels of mortality, with very little decline in mortality rate over time. Equivalent treatments placed in a commercial poultry house showed much more rapid decline. One trial at the end of summer showed conidia to remain viable up to seven weeks. However, repeats during the winter months revealed decay in 1–2 weeks, with fly mortality rates influenced accordingly. The exact reasons for the more rapid decay remain unclear but could be linked to high concentrations of ammonia in the basement areas, especially during winter when ventilation is minimal. The combined data suggest the potential for adaptive treatment regimes with weekly spray intervals in conditions with very high fly populations and/or high ammonia levels, and potentially monthly spray intervals when fly populations and ammonia levels are reduced.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Insect Science