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Control techniques for Culicoides biting midges and their application in the U.K. and northwestern Palaearctic

Control techniques for Culicoides biting midges and their application in the U.K. and northwestern Palaearctic

Carpenter, S., Mellor, P.S. and Torr, S.J. (2008) Control techniques for Culicoides biting midges and their application in the U.K. and northwestern Palaearctic. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 22 (3). pp. 175-187. ISSN 0269-283X (Print), 1365-2915 (Online) (doi:10.1111/j.1365-2915.2008.00743.x)

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Abstract

The recent emergence of bluetongue virus (Reoviridae: Orbivirus ) (BTV)in northern Europe, for the first time in recorded history, has led to an urgent need for methods to control the disease caused by this virus and the midges that spread it. This paper reviews various methods of vector control that have been employed elsewhere and assesses their likely efficacy for controlling vectors of BTV in northern Europe. Methods of controlling Culicoides spp. (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) have included: (a) application of insecticides and pathogens to habitats where larvae develop; (b) environmental interventions to remove larval breeding sites; (c) controlling adult midges by treating either resting sites, such as animal housing, or host animals with insecticides; (d) housing livestock in screened buildings, and (e) using repellents or host kairomones to lure and kill adult midges. The major vectors of BTV in northern Europe are species from the Culicoides obsoletus (Meigen) and Culicoides pulicaris (L.) groups, for which there are scant data on breeding habits, resting behaviour and host-oriented responses. Consequently, there is little information on which to base a rational strategy for controlling midges or for predicting the likely impact of interventions. However, data extrapolated from the results of vector control operations conducted elsewhere, combined with some assessment of how acceptable or not different methods may be within northern Europe, indicate that the treatment of livestock and animal housing with pyrethroids, the use of midge-proofed stabling for viraemic or high-value animals and the promotion of good farm practice to at least partially eliminate local breeding sites are the best options currently available. Research to assess and improve the efficacy of these methods is required and, in the longer term, efforts should be made to develop better bait systems for monitoring and, possibly, controlling midges. All these studies will need better methods of analysing the ecology and behaviour of midges in the field than are currently in use. The paucity of control options and basic knowledge serve to warn us that we must be better prepared for the possible emergence of other midge-borne diseases, particularly African horse sickness.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Culicoides, African horse sickness, bluetongue virus, cattle, Ceratopogonidae, horses, sheep, sweet itch, Europe, U.K
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Q Science > QL Zoology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2015 16:36
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/2112

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