Release of parasitic wasps (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) as biological control agents for house flies and stable flies in livestock confinements has had variable success. In part, this may reflect a lack of knowledge regarding the optimal distance to be used between parasitoid release stations. In the current study, we assessed the effect of linear distance on host parasitism by the wasp Spalangia cameroni Perkins. In open fields at distances ranging from 1 m to 60 m from a central point, house fly puparia were placed in a mixture of pine shavings soiled with equine manure, urine, and alfalfa hay. Releases of S. cameroni then were made using a 5:1 host: parasitoid ratio. Host pupae were parasitized at all distances, with the highest rate of total parasitism (68.9%) recorded ≤ 5 m from the release site. Analyses of results using non-linear and linear models suggest that S. cameroni should be released in close proximity to host development areas. Additionally, releases may not be suitable in pasture situations where long-distance flight is required for control. However, further testing is needed to examine the effect of density-dependent dispersal and diffusion of S. cameroni.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)