Laboratory evaluation of oral treatment of rodents with systemic insecticides for control of bloodfeeding sand flies (Diptera: Psychodidae)

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of oral treatment of rodents with diets containing the systemic insecticides ivermectin, abamectin, imidacloprid, or spinosad, to control bloodfeeding sand flies. We found that diets containing concentrations higher than 10 mg/kg abamectin were not palatable to rodents, and that a diet containing 10 mg/kg abamectin (a palatable concentration) did not cause 100% mortality of bloodfeeding sand flies. Treatment of rodents with imidacloprid was effective for less than 3 days post-treatment. Treatment of rodents with diets containing 20 mg/kg ivermectin or 5000 mg/kg spinosad caused 100% mortality of bloodfeeding sand flies for at least 1 week. The efficacy of ivermectin and spinosad also were not reduced when combined with the fluorescent tracer dye rhodamine B in a single diet. We also did not observe significant benefits by increasing the feeding period of the rodents from 3 to 6 or 9 days. We conclude that ivermectin and spinosad are effective as rodent systemic insecticides against bloodfeeding sand flies, and suggest that weekly treatment of wild rodent reservoirs of Leishmania major with bait containing one of these systemic insecticides could be a useful tool as part of a sand fly control program. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012.

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Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases

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