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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
Print version ISSN 0030-2465

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.75 n.4 Cape Town  2008




Evaluation of larvicides in developing management guidelines for long-term control of pest blackflies (Diptera: Simuliidae) along the Orange River, South Africa



R.W. PalmerI; N.A. Rivers-MooreII

INepid Consultants, P.O. Box 4349, White River, 1240 South Africa
IIInstitute for Water Research, P.O. Box 94, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140 South Africa




In 2000 and 2001 Orange River levels were higher than normal: associated serious outbreaks of blackfly had a substantial detrimental impact on the local economy. The poor control was attributed to the suspected development of larval resistance to temephos. A long-term solution to blackfly control, through the identification of a suitable replacement to temephos for use during high flow conditions, was proposed. This study, however, failed to identify or register a suitable larvicide for use during high flow conditions. Although permethrin was highly effective against blackfly larvae, it was rejected because of its detrimental impacts on non-target fauna. Various formulations of locally produced dry Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (B.t.i.) were tested, but these were ineffective against blackflies. The study also confirmed that resistance to temephos has developed among Simulium chutteri in the middle and lower Orange River. The feasibility of "reversing" the resistance to temephos through the use of the synergist piperonyl butoxide (PEO) was investigated, but the results were not favourable. Furthermore, PBO was highly toxic to blackflies and non-target organisms, and was not recommended for further testing. This means that B.t.i. currently remains the only symptomatic measure of treatment currently applied. Although resistance to B.t.i. has not been reported for blackflies elsewhere in South Africa, there is a need to remain vigilant and to implement an operational strategy that minimizes the risks of resistance developing.

Keywords: Larvicide trials, Orange River, pest blackflies, resistance, Simuliidae



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Accepted for publication 14 August 2008-Editor



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