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J Environ Sci Health B. 2007 May;42(4):453-69.

House fly (Musca domestica): a review of control strategies for a challenging pest.

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  • 1Centre for Rural Development and Technology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, New Delhi, India.


Musca domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae), commonly called the house fly, is a major domestic, medical and veterinary pest that causes irritation, spoils food and acts as a vector for many pathogenic organisms. In this paper, the social and health problems related to housefly are introduced with the associated need to control its population. Physical and chemical methods of house fly control are briefly discussed. The main focus of this review is on the biological control methods for house fly control, that comprise botanical, fungal, bacterial and parasitoid agents. Although several biocontrol agents are still in the nascent stage, some of them (especially fungal and parasitoid agents) have shown reliable field performance and seem to be suitable candidates for commercialization. However, the majority of these laboratory and field studies have been conducted in the temperate region. It remains to be seen whether the application of biocontrol agents would be feasible in tropical environments. The integrated pest management practices, which can provide more reliable field performance, have also been discussed. A multi-dimensional approach that exerts control on all the life stages of house fly, but simultaneously preserves the fly's natural enemies could be an ecologically sustainable way of maintaining the fly populations below maximally acceptable limits.

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