House flies were collected from dairies across New York state and the levels of resistance to seven insecticides were measured using standard laboratory assays with three to five diagnostic concentrations. The highest levels of resistance were found for tetrachlorvinphos, permethrin and cyfluthrin. Although levels of resistance to methomyl were somewhat lower, they were among the highest ever reported for field-collected house flies. Resistance to pyrethrins was limited primarily to the lowest diagnostic concentration. House flies were susceptible to fipronil at all dairies, suggesting that this material would be highly effective for fly control. The levels of resistance were similar at all the dairies, irrespective of their insecticide use, suggesting substantial movement of flies between facilities. Relative to resistance levels found at New York dairies in 1987, resistance levels had increased for permethrin, were unchanged for tetrachlorvinphos and had decreased for dimethoate. To identify a single diagnostic concentration that could be used in the laboratory assays to assess accurately resistance levels in future studies, we carried out a ‘simulated’ field bioassay using formulated materials. A diagnostic concentration for each insecticide is proposed on the basis of a comparison of our bioassays.
© 2001 Society of Chemical Industry