Oral treatment of rodents with fipronil for feed-through and systemic control of sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae)

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The sand fly Phlebotomus papatasi Scopoli is the vector of Leishmania major (Yakimoff & Schokhor), which is maintained in populations of burrowing rodents. The purpose of this study was to conduct a laboratory study to determine the efficacy of oral treatment of rodents with fipronil for control of sand flies that feed on rodent feces as larvae or on rodent blood as adults. We determined through larval bioassays that fipronil was eliminated in feces of orally-treated hamsters at a level that was significantly toxic to sand fly larvae for 21 d after the hamsters had been withdrawn from a fipronil-treated diet. Through bloodfeeding bioassays, we also found that fipronil was present in the peripheral blood of hamsters at a concentration that was significantly toxic to bloodfeeding adult female sand flies for 49 d after the hamsters had been withdrawn from their treated diet. The results of this study suggest that fipronil acts as well as or better than feed-through or systemic insecticides that previously have been measured against sand flies, and is particularly promising because this single compound acts against both larvae and bloodfeeding adults. An area-wide approach using rodent baits containing a fipronil could suppress vector populations that originate in the vicinity of rodent reservoirs, and could be used to eliminate the most epidemiologically important part of the vector population: female sand flies that take bloodmeals on rodent reservoirs. © 2013 Entomological Society of America.

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Journal of Medical Entomology

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